Let me be honest with you: The last few weeks and months have been pretty stressful. Between starting full-time work, writing my thesis, still going to university courses, moving to a new city AND still hoping to see my friends and have some free time, getting organized was pretty much key to survive without going crazy. I’ve worked out a few strategies to manage stressful times that I wanted to share with you today. None of these are brand-new, but these are the tricks that really helped me.
First of all, I put together one list with EVERYTHING that needs to get done. There’s no real structure to this list – the tasks are big and small, everything thrown together. I keep this list so I don’t forget anything.
Then, at the beginning (or end) of my day, I put together a smaller list of tasks. These are all the tasks I could possibly get done if I stay really focused. It’s a manageable list where it’s possible to check everything off, but still something I have to work on. Tasks that pop up spontaneously go on this list as well.
Still getting more specific, I pick three tasks of my daily task list that NEED to get done. No discussion there. I won’t stop working until I have finished these three tasks. As soon as I’ve finished, I’m happy and ready to relax.
For me, that’s in the morning between 8 am and 12 pm. Lately, I tried being really strict and not make plans for any breakfast dates or meetings in the morning. Do you know the time when you work best? It really helps with planning your work day. For example, if you’re a night owl, you can have as many brunch dates as you’d like. Just stay home and work instead of going out at night.
This goes hand in hand with what I said before – once you’ve found out when you work best, make fun plans for things to do – or just relax with a great book or your favourite hobby. Nobody can survive with only work for extended amounts of time, so take care of yourself and your body and make time for fun as well. Trust me, you’ll work better in the remaining hours anyway.
Last but not least, the last thing I try to do every day no matter how many tasks I have to finish is go for daily walks or jogs outside. With a good podcast and just my own thoughts it’s a really great way to clear my head. Also, try to relax and wind down before going to bed so you are ready for the next day – and get your seven to eight hours of sleepy time!
And there you have it – these are my top strategies for a productive day. What about yours?