Have you noticed how some days you feel disoriented and confused about how to get through the day with umpteen tasks to do in different categories? Just thinking about the all these things to do overwhelms you and your stress level shoots up. The funny thing is you haven’t done any work yet so why the stress and the confusion? Here are 6 strategies for a better day at work – without the confusion and the inner turmoil…
1- The work is not the problem, it’s you!
Some days, the thought processes get wired up wrong and create an inner state of disorientation. Maybe you didn’t sleep well the night before, perhaps there is a family issue, or you are just feeling lazy. This happens to all of us occasionally (if this happens too often then you need more help than this article can provide). Just recognizing that this happens and acknowledging that the work itself is not the issue helps to clear the fog.
2- The “today” list
Take a few minutes to jot down the tasks that need to be done today. There is this nagging feeling sometime that some tasks will remain undone so work on the list until you feel better that you have a handle on things. This is about wresting control away from the disorientation and reorganizing yourself. It’s important not to have too many items on the list. Two or three items on the list should be enough to get you going.
3- One thing at a time
Multi-tasking is a reality at work and in life but it is better when you can to do just one thing at a time. Focus on just one task, get it out-of-the-way then move to the next one. This is a great way to regain and get more value for your time. Doing one task well is better than doing three half-heartedly.
It is quite hard to focus on a task for more than half an hour or so without getting restless. A good average suggested by many GTD (Getting Things Done) gurus is around 25-30 minutes. Then break away for a few minutes – maybe 10-15 minutes for a cup of coffee or just a short relaxing break – before resuming with the same task or starting another one.
5- Email schedule
The biggest distraction in modern-day offices is email and the SMS. Most of these do not need attention immediately so create a schedule for checking emails twice or thrice a day at most. Some people will advise that you should not check your email first thing in the morning because it will create additional stress. True but I will not suggest this simply because for most of us, it is almost impossible not to check your email first thing.
6- The Value You Bring Today
Ask yourself if you have delivered the value expected of you today. Did you do something to advance toward your objective or targets? It is easy to pretend to be busy and not get noticed by others but there is one person who always notices – you!. Do you really like seeing yourself in that way?