Keep your routine
I have a list called Daily Tasks to Success pinned on my office cork board. It takes about 5 to 10 minutes to run through but when I am busy it’s the first thing that gets skipped. Now considering how many crazy busy working days I might have in a year and how many working days there are altogether, that could amount to a pretty big percentage. My Daily Tasks to Success list encompasses some quick financial, marketing and PR tasks that I have honed over time. It is important. And it is proven to have a positive cumulative effect on my business so it must be non-negotiable. These first 5 minutes needs to be set in stone. And then it is ticked off the list and we move on having accomplished something tangible. Think about what your non-negotiable daily tasks are and make a commitment to get them done first thing no matter what. I bet you have daily tasks and if you skip them you have twice as much to do the next day and it just builds up and adds to your stress. So, bite the bullet, and get them done before you tackle the rest of the day.
Clean and tidy environment
It might seem counter-intuitive to some, but for me, mess adds to my stress. I always take a minute to tidy and clean my desk before I tackle a difficult task or a new task or piece of work. When I worked in shared offices, I got some funny looks. They knew I was busy so why was I disinfecting my phone and keyboard keys? For me, it just wipes the proverbial slate clean and sets the scene for me to fully concentrate on the next big task in hand. The bigger my workload, the more organized my workspace needs to be.
Working straight through does no one any favors. Productivity suffers and it’s bad for your health to be sitting for long periods of time. The busier the day, the more important self-care becomes. A five-minute refresh brings me back to my desk feeling restored. Treat yourself like you would treat a cherished employee or friend. And then tick taking a break off your list as an easy win.
Credit where credit is due
To get through a heavy workload and survive, its important to acknowledge your accomplishment. Again, using the analogy of having an employee, wouldn’t you thank them for getting through a particularly hectic day or busy period? You would tell them that you appreciate them and that their going the extra mile never goes unnoticed. So, the same applies to yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back, or schedule in a day or an hour off for some me-time when your schedule allows. If you are freelance or self-employed, please make an agreement with yourself that the next time you really need to take a mental health or duvet day, you will do so without any guilt. Acknowledge these crazy days or weeks and give yourself some credit.