I am working on personal tasks, which include 2-3 high priority tasks and 3 low priority ones. However, it’s hard to sit down, focus and get things done. It seems that I spend my weekend thinking about what needs to be done and by the end of it, little is accomplished.
Many people are able to get things done at work as there is structure, deadlines, and a boss hanging over them. However, what happens after work hours or on weekends where there is a lot to do and not as much time?
People often get so overwhelmed that they think about what needs to be done, only to find that hours have passed and they haven’t even started.
After many years of speaking with friends and working with clients on prioritizing and managing personal tasks, I have come up with some effective solutions to get things done and beat the productivity blues.
- Make a list with the weekend dates at the top, such as Friday, Nov 9-Sunday, Nov 11th and list 3 things that you want to work on or accomplish over the weekend. Decide how much time you want to spend on each one and then schedule it in blocks. Make sure that the schedule includes breaks. Try to keep evenings for socializing and having fun.
- Make sure that you spend time getting your work area ready and that it’s clutter free. Say ‘no’ to requests that take time away from your priorities. Decide how much time you need for a task; 1-2 hours usually works as this is a good amount of time to focus and to made some headway. Make sure to get lots of rest the night before a marathon work day.
- Experiment with different ways of accomplishing tasks. Work for 30-60 minutes and then see how you feel. Keep going if you can. But if you need to. stop, stretch or take a short walk.
- Instead of focusing on goals, think about why you want to do the task and what identity you will take on if you complete something. This is a new way of thinking that can be helpful if you are struggling with finishing a project.
Ultimately, we all have to embrace discomfort in order to build new habits and practices.
Thus, bringing your activities and accomplishments in alignment with your true values.
Kay Gimmestad, LCSW-C is a business coach and clinician in New York City with 20 years of experience working in the profit and not for profit sectors of Human Resources, Health and Human Services. She has built a reputation for being highly skilled in facilitating behavior change while working with employees, both individually and in groups, on matters relating to performance management, substance abuse, crisis intervention, and stress/wellness.