You have a lot going on. Your responsibilities are starting to pile up and even though you’re insanely driven, you’re starting to feel the might of overwhelm pressing down upon your shoulders. But don’t panic. I know how you’re feeling and have created this post on productivity tips just for you!
You’re smart and capable. You’re focused and determined. You should be able to handle whatever comes your way, right?
Yes and no.
Yes because you can certainly make it work. But no because you have only 24 hours in a day.
Sleep takes up time, your commute takes up time, eating takes up time. You’ll need to pick and choose your tasks wisely. Take it from me, I’ve been in your shoes.
Life is busy
Just like you, I also have a lot going on; a full-time job, a very pregnant wife, a new home that we just purchased, QuickBooost (the site that you’re on right now), and a multitude of goals to accomplish and trips to take.
Life is busy at the moment.
And to be honest with you, overwhelm has been hanging out with me for the past six months or so. That’s a lot of overwhelm.
Take my recent move for instance.
To date, no move has proven more painful as this one. My wife and I just purchased our first home and were naive to the time requirements the process would take. Hours each day were spent with me on the phone speaking to various parties, negotiating terms, scheduling renovations.
And those were hours that I didn’t have available to give. Remember, my plate was full before starting this process. This was just overkill.
*Side note: obviously, we are both incredibly appreciative and grateful that we could even afford a home. This story though is more of a hate-letter to the feeling of overwhelm, not to the actual home buying process itself.*
Good news though! At the time of this writing we are officially moved in and the hurricane of overwhelm has been downgraded to a small tropical storm. But nevertheless, there’s still some rain to come before the sun starts shining once again.
Either way, the load has been lightened and I am grateful for it.
That said, I hate feeling overwhelmed. Feeling like you have 40 hours of tasks that you need to somehow cram into 24. Feeling like for every one task you cross off your list you have to add another seven.
Like you’re treading water. Not really going anywhere or making any progress. Just… like… floating there trying not to drown.
But as I’ll go onto explain with this list, there are productivity tips that I use to keep myself focused, on task, and motivated as best I can during those hectic times. Tips that I want to share with you so that you can stop treading water and start doggy paddling towards a better future.
Feeling Overwhelmed? 33 Productivity Tips To Get You Unstuck
When you feel stuck, like you’re not going anywhere, and like your responsibilities are starting to suffocate you, you, my friend, are experiencing overwhelm. And while overwhelm isn’t the best feeling in the world, there are many ways (33, in fact) that you can power through it and use your time productively each day.
With that in mind, use the following list of productivity tips to help you get unstuck and crush overwhelm once and for all.
And by the way, if you feel like you could be doing more with your time, check out my goal setting course. I’ll teach you exactly what you need to know.
One of my favorite productivity tips for countering overwhelm is to flip it on its head. Instead of thinking why you are so annoyed and frustrated for your responsibilities, instead consider why you are grateful to have them.
For example, instead of being annoyed that I had to sign contract after contract after contract, I kept reminding myself how appreciative and thankful I was to even be in this position to buy a home in the first place.
That thought process transformed my anger to gratitude and helped me power through my tasks more calmly and effectively.
2. Productivity tips: Next step
Another great productivity tip that I utilized was to take one step at a time. Because when you’re busy it’s really easy to zoom out, look at the big picture, and panic because you have so much more to go.
But instead of doing that, just take one step forward.
Then another. Then another.
When feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry about looking up. Simply ask yourself: what is the next step that I can take right now?
Then take that step.
3. It will pass
Time moves quickly. It may not feel that way at times, but it does move fast. So when feeling overwhelmed, use the fact that time will pass to calm yourself down, recollect, re-center, and focus on the task that needs to be worked on.
And when you’re working, just do the best you can. If you can’t get everything done today, that’s fine.
There’s always tomorrow.
4. Productivity tips: Write everything down
This is one of those simple productivity tips that is also incredibly powerful. Write down everything that you need to do.
Because the simple act of writing will get the chaos out of your head and onto the paper where you can organize and see things clearly.
5. Pare down
Remove tasks from your list that aren’t a priority. If you have too much to do but not enough time for all of them, remove items from your agenda that are low importance.
6. Productivity tips: Single-task
You’re going to feel like your head is everywhere. You’ll be thinking about one thing while working on another thing while talking to someone about something else.
The problem with that is you won’t be making progress on anything when you’re working on everything.
Fight the urge to multitask and focus on single tasking instead. Learn to focus on what matters and start to see real results.
7. Say no
This one may make you feel uncomfortable… but that’s good! You need to learn to say no to others.
If your plate is full, don’t let it become even more overrun. Tell others “no” when it comes to new tasks until you can effectively manage the ones currently on your plate.
8. Productivity tips: Go radio silent
One of the best productivity tips that I can suggest, and one of the top ways for increasing productivity, is by going radio silent.
That means putting your phone on airplane mode, closing out of your email, deleting the Instagram app. It means shutting out the world for a little so that you can focus on what’s in front of you.
9. Utilize time management
When it comes to being productive while overwhelmed, time management is your friend. Be sure to utilize it so that you are making time for what matters.
Ready to get started? Check out these easy time management activities that you can do right now.
10. Productivity tips: Delegate
This productivity tip is plain and simple. When you have too much on your plate, look around. Delegate tasks out to others that can help.
11. Hire help
If you have a little extra income, consider hiring help to manage some of your overwhelm. Bring on a virtual assistant (VA) through a freelance platform like Upwork.
Apartment getting messy but don’t have time to clean it because your work responsibilities are too time consuming? Find a local cleaning crew through Yelp. Want someone in your corner? Someone that will help you achieve your goals? Bring on a coach.
Use your spare funds to bring on a team that helps you thrive.
12. Productivity tips: Create a plan for your time
One of the best ways to be productive when chaos surrounds you is to have a plan for your time. A plan that prioritizes the important things and helps you make daily progress.
For that, I recommend you check this out.
13. Early riser
When you have a lot to do, consider waking up a little earlier. Suspend your regular morning routine for one that allows you to get up and get to it.
Here are some tips for creating a better morning routine.
14. Productivity tips: Rest
It’s a bit counterintuitive, but when you’re feeling overwhelmed, one productivity tip that you should consider is taking breaks as often as you can.
You have a lot to do and it would make sense to keep pushing through the exhaustion, but that will only lead you to feeling more overwhelmed. Instead of going that route then, make sure to rest. Get enough sleep, step away from the computer every so often, take a nap.
Resting will give you the energy you need to stay motivated and productive.
15. Health check
Similar to resting, you need to keep your overall health in check during this time too. Why? Because you are likely to feel stressed, tired, and frustrated.
And if you opt for junk food and no sleep as opposed to vegetables and an eight hour slumber, you’re only setting yourself up for more exhaustion the next day.
Treat your body well and you will be able to sustain your productivity even while overwhelmed.
16. Productivity tips: Problem solver
Here is one of the more unique productivity tips I recommend – be a problem solver. See your overwhelm as a problem that has a solution waiting to be uncovered.
If your boss puts more on your plate daily and you never feel like you can catch up, see that as a problem to be solved. Maybe that means asking for help from others or sitting down with your boss and discussing your actual responsibilities.
Treat your overwhelm like a case to be solved and you will find creative solutions for it.
17. Seriously, plan your day
I touched on this earlier, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed, I seriously recommend planning out your day.
To help, here’s my post on daily planning and my bonus post on productive planning as well. Something else you’ll want to keep in mind is Parkinson’s law (a real game changer) which you can learn about here.
18. Productivity tips: Ask for help
This is one of the biggest productivity tips you can utilize and is often the hardest to do… ask for help.
It may not always feel like it, but people love you. People care about you. And most of all, people don’t want you to struggle or suffer. In fact, they want you to thrive and succeed.
So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, like you’re drowning in to-do’s, swallow your pride and ask for help. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but if you are genuine in your request, you will find that others are more than happy to support your cause.
19. Focus time
When it comes to productivity tips at work, this one is a must. When you have a lot to do, a great way to be productive in this scenario is to let your coworkers (or roommates) know that you need uninterrupted time to focus.
Explain how you’re feeling and how much time you need. Then, close the door or put in your headphones, and get to work.
Productivity tips: Rapid fire
There are so many productivity tips to choose from. All very helpful! That said, a lot of them are pretty self explanatory.
To close out the list of productivity tips then, here is a rapid fire list of tips that need no (or very little) explanation.
- Work: Stop thinking so much. You know what you need to do, start working. That’s it.
- Clutter: Remove clutter from your desk to help you feel organized and less overwhelmed.
- Apps: Download productivity apps to streamline your workflow. Here are my favorites.
- Downtime: When planning your schedule, build downtime and rest into your timeline.
- Music: Listen to music to help you focus and stay productive. I recommend this kind.
- Get ready: Prepare your clothes, lunch, and plan the night before. Get ready for tomorrow so that you can wake up and get to it.
- Tools: Similar to apps, utilize productivity tools to help you get more done. See my post here.
- Meetings: When in a meeting, keep everyone on task so that time doesn’t go over.
- Hardest task: Start your day with your hardest task first. Use your energy where it’s most needed.
- Exercise: Similar to keeping your health in check, make sure to exercise. Doing so will reduce stress, help you sleep better, and keep you sharp and in shape.
- What matters: Work on what matters most. Check in on your daily goals and make sure you are working in the right direction. Learn more about daily goal setting here.
- System: Create a system for yourself that you can rely on again and again. For help, see my goal setting course here.
- Time track: Feel like you aren’t getting anything done? Write down where you are spending your time so that you can actually see if you’re using it wisely.
- Bonus: Know that everything will get done. You got this.
Moving forward with your productivity tips
Overwhelm is not fun. You know it, I know it. That said, there are ways to power through, even when you feel it crashing down on your shoulders.
Use the productivity tips listed above to help the cause. Try one or two out. See what works and then try some more.
Discover what works best for you and keep working to refine your system.
And if you’re still looking for resources to help you crush overwhelm and be super productive, check out the following posts:
- Learn about the six keys to better time management here
- Discover what productivity truly is in this guide
- Uncover the 12 habits of highly productive people in this post
And again, if you want something more in-depth and detailed, something that will teach you how to do more with your time, check out my goal setting course here.