Feeling overwhelmed? 4 ways to stay productive

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When you’re running a business you tend to wear a lot of hats. You’re often not just a manager—you’re also a bookkeeper, a customer service rep, a marketing guru, a mentor, and of course, a service provider.

That being said, it’s totally easy to feel overwhelmed. So what can you do about it? We’ve put together a few tricks that you can use to stay productive and say goodbye to feeling overwhelmed.

1. Unplug every once in a while

Let’s face it, many of us are hooked to our phones, and using it for business just amplifies how much time you spend using it. Marina Khidekel at Inc. tells us that unplugging from your phone and other devices at night is one way to reduce stress and ultimately make you more productive.

For many people, using electronic devices at night makes getting a good night’s rest more difficult, and when you aren’t sleeping well, productivity takes a nose-dive. Unplugging mentally and physically from your devices allows your brain and body time to recharge.  

2. Take care of your body

What does taking care of your body have to do with productivity? Everything.

Just like getting quality sleep, eating well and getting exercise can help your mind and body feel stronger. When you’re fueling your body with quality food (like fresh fruit and veg), your mind is sharper and your body has what it needs to keep going — better than a bag of chips and a glass of wine, which can make you more tired than you were before.

3. Break up your day

Making a to-do list is a great way to mentally prepare your long-term and short-term tasks, but looking at a really long list can make even the steadiest folks feel overwhelmed.

Break up big tasks into smaller goals, and create ‘blocks’ during the day where you focus only on that one task. Khidekel says that research indicates that 1-2 hour blocks will maximize productivity.

Then take a break. Research indicates that taking a 15-minute break a couple of times a day will help you stay more focused long-term. We’re not talking about scrolling through Instagram — instead, take a walk, go outside, or even take a power nap.

4. Plan your day — the night before

Ted Serbinski at Techstars reflected on his productivity habits, and one that we love is the idea of writing out your day. In the evening, write down a quick log of what you got done today and what you hope to accomplish tomorrow. Serbinski says 2-3 accomplishable tasks are ideal, and you can also use your time the night before to review your meetings and other calendar appointments.

In short, these tactics can help you get back on track and be more productive, which means less stress. And who can say no to that?

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