How to get things done (without overwhelming yourself)

I am one of the least naturally productive people. In the world. Ever. So, obviously, given that it’s one of my valuable life lessons, I’m probably the best unlikely person to be giving advice on the matter. Because if you’re not born great at something then you have to learn how to do it – right?

It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I’m impatient and a perfectionist. If I don’t have everything in place before I start then it’s a non-starter. If I can’t do it all, then I don’t do anything. Does this sound like the right way to get things done?

But obviously, given that my blog is coming out to you consistently, I must be getting it right somehow – so here are my top tips and tricks to stay on top of things without becoming overwhelmed.

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Don’t let your schedule floor you! Image © Richmond Pictures

My five top tips for getting things done

♥ Wake up early. The earlier you wake up, the more you can get done. Want time for that morning jog? Wonder how people turn up to work with their hair blow dried to perfection? Set your alarm earlier and force yourself up to face the day. You’ll get by a lot better and , oddly, you’ll feel fresher and more ready for the world.

♥ Make lists, but don’t make your lists overwhelmingly long. Ever heard the phrase under-promise and over-deliver? That isn’t just for clients or employers – it works a treat on yourself too. Don’t make to-do lists as long as your arm and then wonder why you don’t know where to start. Make a short to-do list of the essentials, and a second to-do list of the things you would also like to do by the end of the day. Once you have ticked off everything urgent, then it’s up to you whether you have the energy to keep going. And there’s nothing more satisfying than crossing an item off your list – I guarantee it!

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♥ Prioritise. If you try to get all of your main tasks done at once, you’ll end up doing nothing at all. Decide on the order in which you would like to get things done and focus on one thing at a time.

♥ Give yourself small rewards for each task completed and take plenty of breaks. We weren’t designed to sit at screens or focus all day. After each completed task, take a break, have a coffee or a hot chocolate, watch ten minutes of something you like, or just take deep breaths and relax for a bit. It’s much easier to concentrate in short bursts.

♥ Don’t procrastinate and get the most difficult or unpleasant tasks out of the way first. I find the longer I leave things, the more overwhelming they feel when I finally come to do them. Try to get things done the minute you are able to, rather than at the last second or minutes before the deadline. Give yourself a system in which you reply to all emails within 24 hours so that they don’t build up and you don’t sit on them for too long until you’re too embarrassed to reply.

Do you have any tips on productivity? Leave some love and advice in the comment box below!

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