By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.
Do you feel overwhelmed and unproductive?
Has your life spun out of control? Are you hectic busy, but it feels like you never get anything done? With more options than ever before for things to do, everyone seems to be working harder and accomplishing less. Sometimes it looks like there isn’t enough time to stop and breathe. If you’re working harder but achieving less, here are some techniques to get your life under control and start accomplishing things.
To accomplish more focus on one task at a time.
The idea that people can multitask has turned out to be one of the dead-end streets on the road to productivity. It’s possible to learn to do two tasks simultaneously, but most people who try to multitask, spend so much of their day switching back-and-forth that they never really accomplish anything. Focus on one task you need to work on and allocate some time to doing it. When that time has been used on that task, close it up and put it to the side, take a break, and then move on to the next project. When you’re doing something, really do that activity. Be present with whatever it is you’re doing.
Allocate enough time for the things you are planning to do.
An overscheduled life leads to lots of things undone, half done, or never completed. People who overscheduled are frequently chronically late. Be realistic about how much time will actually be required for each task. If a job is too big to do in the available time, break that task into smaller segments, and work on them one at a time. This will give you the feeling of accomplishment in small doses and keep you moving toward your goal.
Improve focus by cutting off the distractions.
Whatever the task at hand, even if that task is having fun, give it your full attention. Life often intrudes on our plans, but the more you can do to insulate yourself from those distractions, the better. Try to have a place where people won’t interrupt you as you work on your task. Turn off the Internet apps, ignore the text messages, and entirely focus on the project you’re working on. A short period when you’re fully present can accomplish more than all day long when you’re distracted.
Win more by psyching yourself up.
Your ability to do something is significantly influenced by the attitude you take toward it. If you approach things as stressful, they will stress you out. People with an attitude called positive stress mindset approach new situations as opportunities. People with a negative stress mindset approach new situations as stressful.
Top performing athletes do not become stressed out because of the pressure of the big game; they see it as their opportunity to accomplish something. With every goal you’re working towards, look for the possibilities, not the stress.
Use positive self-talk to move forward.
People tell themselves they can’t, are telling the truth, and they rarely do. Tell yourself you can, and you’re a lot farther along the path. Our brains tend to believe the things we tell ourselves repeatedly. Avoid negative self-talk and handicapping. Don’t start making excuses for your failure before you’ve even started your project. You’ll get a lot more accomplished by being your own cheerleader then by letting your inner critic run the show.
Don’t tell yourself that this is impossible, or you can’t do it. Saying you can’t usually means you don’t want to. Get honest with yourself. Either you want to do it, or you don’t. If you do, then tell yourself you will get this done one way or another.
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
In this modern era, there are more movies to watch than there is lifetime to watch them. More new books are published every day than any one person could possibly read. Social media has become a maze that never ends. Trying frantically to stay current in any of these areas is overwhelming. Learn to limit yourself to consuming each of these diversions in moderation. Making more social media posts each day doesn’t make you more successful unless that’s your job, and they are paying you for posting. Avoid trying to do things only because all these distractions are there crying for your attention.
Learn to say no to make time for the yeses.
One of the largest sources of that overwhelmed feeling is taking on tasks that fill up your day, which you definitely don’t want to do. People who are overwhelmed often set their automatic response to requests as “yes, I’ll do that.” Frequently after they’ve said yes and had time to think about it, they wish they didn’t have to do what they just committed to. When approached to do things, learn to say no to the things you don’t want to do. When you’re unsure about where you’ll find the time to do something, tell people you’ll have to think about it and get back to them. A primary key to productivity is the things you cut out of your schedule in order to leave room for the important items.
Break the task into bite-size pieces.
Most great accomplishments aren’t something you can easily sit down and do it a few minutes. People who say they will write their book when they have the time seldom do. Books get written one page, one paragraph, at a time. For the big tasks, break them down into smaller components. Make sure you continue to allocate some dedicated time each day to work on that project.
Try adopting some of these methods and practicing them every day until they become habits and then enjoy your new, more productive life.
Staying connected with David Joel Miller
Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!
Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.
Dark Family Secrets: Some family secrets can be deadly.
What if your family secrets put you in danger?
Letters from the Dead The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.
What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?
Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.
Planned Accidents The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.
Sasquatch. Wandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?
For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller
Books are now available on Amazon.
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders, see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.