Are you feeling overwhelmed during your workday? Do you find yourself constantly stressed out and struggling to stay productive? Please know that you’re not alone. The modern workday is full of distractions, interruptions, and stress. Many of us find ourselves overwhelmed and unable to focus on our to-do list which leads to decreased productivity and increased anxiety. However, there are simple strategies you can implement to simplify your workday and reduce stress while boosting productivity.
But before I fill you on a few of these simple strategies, I have a question for you.
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Now let’s dive into some simple strategies to help you keep it super simple, or what I like to call KISS strategies, that you can begin implementing today.
Prioritize Your Tasks
One of the most important things you can do to reduce stress and boost productivity is to prioritize what is most important to you. First take time to do a mental unload of everything that you need to accomplish in no specific order. This helps you get everything out of your head and written down. Doing this alone can feel like a huge relief because carrying thoughts around in your mind can definitely take its toll on you. My dad used to tell me in regards to tasks, appointments and other to-do’s , “Leave nothing to memory and that way you do not have to remember anything”. This has really been helpful for me over the years.
After you have done your mental unload, make a list either first thing in the morning,or the night before, of the most important tasks you need to complete that day. This will help you stay focused and ensure that you are working on the most pressing tasks first. When you have a clear plan for your day, you’ll be less likely to feel overwhelmed or distracted.
One easy way to prioritize is to calendar each task and make sure you are realistic with what you are able to accomplish daily. I love to say “Without a date it’s a dream.” For me personally, I do not use lists anymore. Whenever another to-do comes up , I immediately find a time in my calendar and I put it in there. If the time comes and I am unable to accomplish it, then I move it to another time that day or to another day that is more realistic for me to take care of. What is most important is that I have a designated time in my calendar for each task. This helps keep me on track and helps a great deal with my productivity.
The KISS Strategy
After you have prioritized each task and put them in your calendar, ensure that you apply the KISS strategy. Keep It Super Simple. If it seems overwhelming, think about how you can break it down into more manageable steps so that it feels less daunting and easier to tackle. If it is already broken down as much as possible, then great! It will be that much easier for you to accomplish. You may also want to reevaluate tasks that are a low priority or those that you keep putting off. There is a reason for this so ask yourself if you need to table this task until next month, next year or eliminate it altogether.
Distractions are one of the biggest obstacles when you are trying to be productive. To simplify your workday, it’s essential to eliminate as many distractions as possible. Turn off notifications on your phone and computer, close unnecessary tabs, and limit your time on social media. If possible, find a quiet space to work where you won’t be interrupted by coworkers or external noise. I have a quick exercise for you to do that may help you eliminate distractions. First, write down ways that you get distracted. Be honest with yourself. Then next to each distraction, write down one easy action that you can take to remove that distraction. For me, I get distracted by my phone alerts when I am working so now I silence my alerts and turn my phone face down so I do not see the alerts popping up on the screen. This simple strategy of turning my phone face down has been a game changer for me. It truly is all about keeping it simple.
Taking breaks is essential for your productivity and is also a great stress reliever. Studies have shown that taking short breaks throughout the day can actually improve focus, concentration and creativity. Some easy ways to do this are to get up from your desk and stretch, go for a quick walk, or simply close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Doing a two-minute meditation can also be effective. One popular time-management strategy that you may be familiar with is the Pomodoro technique which involves identifying one task that you need to complete. Then set a timer for 25 minutes and work on the task with no distractions. When the timer alarm goes off take a 5 minute break. Repeat this process 3 more times and afterwards, take a 30 minute break and then you can repeat the whole process again. This can help you stay focused on one task at a time while also giving your brain a chance to rest and recharge.
Learning to say no can be a powerful tool for simplifying your workday. By saying no, you are setting boundaries and prioritizing your time and energy towards the things that matter most to you . If you’re already feeling overwhelmed, taking on additional tasks will only add to your stress and increase your chances of becoming burnt out. It’s important to be honest with yourself and others about what you can realistically handle. Saying no can be difficult, but it’s essential for maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Give Yourself Permission to Quit
Giving yourself permission to quit can help reduce the pressure and stress that comes with feeling obligated to complete every task on your to-do list. When you acknowledge that it is okay to not finish everything, it can give you a sense of control over your workload and allow you to prioritize self-care and rest when needed. It may also help to set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself that it is time to quit for the day.
Simplifying your workday through these strategies can have a profound impact on reducing stress and boosting productivity. You can create a more manageable workload that allows you to be more efficient and effective. While it may take a little time and effort to implement these strategies, the benefits are well worth it. So start small and stay consistent! .
Now I challenge you to choose ONE strategy from this list that you can commit to implementing today. Which one will you choose? I would love for you to share in the comments below. Have a great week!