Wife to my high school sweetheart, boy mama to sweet baby boy Macrae, and two fur babies Shiloh and Milo, a full time high school history teacher, and overall enthusiast for life. Avid podcast listener, iced coffee drinker, and organized chaos manager. My passion is to encourage and inspire. To cultivate an intentional life, a life full of joy and an abundance of grace.
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We have ALL had those weeks, and for some they might happen more than others. The type of week where you feel like you are completely behind. Where everything is going opposite of plan and you are quickly falling so behind in all the things. I get it – in our own little perfect worlds we insist on creating and living within our heads – we would get everything done ahead of time, set up and schedule our week for success, plan out all the things, start the basic preparations for bigger tasks at hand and feel equipped to take on the week by storm. But that never happens. Instead we feel lost and overwhelmed, wondering if there is anyway, any productivity tip or trick that can actually save us and our week!
So instead we quickly shift to a state of survival where we have to quickly adjust and pivot into how do I survive and keep floating through the tasks at work, keeping things some what orderly at home, all while trying your best to maintain somewhat healthy. Well friends, the good news is, that state of survival doesn’t have to be so scary. You can actually recover your week and still feel productive and accomplished on all that needs to get done! That is exactly what we are going to do today – 6 productivity tips to overcoming that feeling of falling so far behind in order to move ahead and finish your week feeling productive, accomplished, and capable!
The very inspiration behind these productivity tips to recover your week came from my own very hectic and overwhelmed morning in my classroom. I was sitting at my teacher desk in the middle of fall semester feeling incredibly overwhelmed by all the things. It was as if there were too many things that needed to get done and tasks to accomplish, yet the overwhelm was so big, I couldn’t even see clearly.
This moment reminded me of how I can start the week off with high hopes and high expectations for getting all the things done. But then the week starts, and no matter how high of expectations you had, you fall so far behind. If you are like me, then when things become daunting, you just want to shut down. And you flip the switch to survival mode where you try to just coast from for a little while.
It was during this hectic morning that I firmly decided I wasn’t going to live this way anymore. Right then and there I decided to take action. To step in solid footing that this was not how my week was going to go. I was going to get done the things I needed to get done. That things would get done with a sense of purpose. And I was going to do so with a sense of urgency.
Therefore, I am going to share with you the exact steps I took in this very moment in order to give you the productivity tips and tools you need to recover your week and finish off strong! Personally, these six steps were put in practice to change the direction of my workweek, as well as, to change the direction of my week. Additionally, it changed my mindset, my attitude, as well as how I physically felt.
Furthermore, after putting these six productivity tips into practice, right then and there, I was able to switch where I was and what I was thinking, it was so incredibly empowering. Which is why I share this with you. In order for you to feel encouraged. For you to feel empowered. So that if you are feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and lost with what you should do or where you should go, that you would have six productivity tips to help you get things done.
You can accomplish those things. The very things you have on your heart, that you are carrying on your plate, they are there because you need them in this current season. Don’t focus on the future, focus on where you are right now. And be content with that, learning to grow where you are! Therefore, in order to recover your week and feel more accomplished, these six productivity tips will help you feel capable and actually get things done, this week!
The very first tip for productivity in order to reclaim your week is to make a list of all the most important things you need to do. Take out a sheet of paper, notebook, agenda, and make a list of what needs to get done. Quickly jot down a list of items that are the most pressing – the need to do RIGHT now! The absolute most pressing tasks that have to get done right then and there. These are the things that will have consequences if they are not done. Write down all these things on your list.
The very first step to recover your week and your productivity is to write down the essentials of what actually needs to get done. Now, as you go through this list and releasing the stress and tension from yourself to the paper of the things that have to absolutely get done. Feel a freedom as you do this, to release the stress onto the paper, and give yourself permission to let go of the things that you don’t have to do. Remove the expectation for perfection. Let go of the extras, focus on the essentials. Find freedom in doing so. Okay, so that is the first productivity tip, to jot it all down on a list!
The second productivity tip you need in order to reclaim your week is to clear off your desk space. Clear it off. Take your actual work environment, whether that is a desk, studio, makeshift office, no matter where it is clear it off. Wherever you are to do your week, clear that space. It can be so hard to function and think clearly through clutter – even if it is something you have grown accustomed to, instead take a few extra moments to clear off your work space. Think, what can easily be thrown away? Can pens, other pertinent ideas be easily moved back to the proper location.
This is something that can be so easily fixed and help our focus so much. Take an extra five few minutes to slow down and reset our space. Eliminate the clutter. Even if you have a giant stack of papers, it is okay to nicely move them to another location and sort through them later when you have that headspace. That is absolutely okay. In fact, it is a great temporary solution to allow you to really pick up the pieces where you fell apart. In order to move forward with a sense of urgency and purpose of “Yes, I am going to accomplish the things I set out to do.”
And all of this is possible when you can operate from a clean and clear workspace. It is truly amazing how much more you can think from a clear space. How deeper your thoughts can become and how more creative you can actually be! Your physical environment absolutely sets the space for your mental environment. Therefore, make your physical environment work for you!
The third tip to maximize your productivity and finish the week off strong despite all the odds is to turn off all the distractions. Don’t distract yourself from what you actually need to get done. Now, turn off all the distractions. Yes, everyone of them! Turn off all distractions. No extra web browsers, no apps, remove any and all distractions and focus on your task at hand. It can be so hard to focus on the task you are trying to work through when you are easily pulled in so many different directions. This is an essential productivity tip for accomplishing big things throughout your week!
Another really important tip for productivity that so many don’t even think of is to stay hydrated! Hydrate properly with water. It is so important to properly fuel our bodies to thrive. When we are pushing ourselves mentally, just as we would physically, we must stay hydrated. Hydration is critical to operating as our best type of self! Have a water bottle and fill it up! Take a quick moment to go refill your water and come back to your workspace with a clear refresh. By focusing on staying hydrated, to give yourself what you need to feel well. In order so you can feel accomplished and capable for all the things.
The fifth step to reclaiming your week and finishing off strong and productive is a power 30. Find a thirty minute window that is completely devoted all of yourself, all of your energy, all of your attention to your most challenging task. Take a look at your list of must-dos and spend thirty minutes completely devoted to working on your most challenging task. Throughout this thirty minute window, stay focused and committed to that one task at hand.
Take your challenging and difficult task and give it your all for 30 minutes. You will be amazed at what you are able to accomplish, and it will take a huge weight off of your shoulders. Furthermore, you can schedule different 30 minute power sessions to continue to work through your tasks until you get it done. This is a great way to productively work through your list!
Finally, the last productivity tip in order to finish your week strong is to schedule work sessions for the rest of the week. You know the list of what has to get done and the items that are the most pressing. Take a moment to slow down before you speed up. Look at your remaining week and allocate certain tasks to specific periods of time. By knowing when certain things are going to get done you will feel a sense of peace knowing that things will get done and that you have a plan. When you feel peace, you won’t feel worry. When there is a plan in place you will find a freedom and confidence that will allow you to stay grounded in reaching your goals.
First, the most essential thing to remember and understand as you are utilizing productivity tips in order to reclaim your week, don’t forfeit your basic human needs. It can be easy to think I will drink a bunch of coffee in the afternoon and just stay up late to crank this out. Been there, been there often actually and that just isn’t the best idea. If you need to for one day, okay maybe, but it is not realistic or sustainable. Instead, be sure to prioritize your basic needs. Focus on giving yourself what you need in order to live. That is so essential to be able to be productive and accomplished.
Secondly, another key to productivity, don’t try to do too many things at once. For instance, if you are feeling overwhelmed, feeling rushed, stressed out… it can be easy to try and do all the things at once. Instead try and stay present where you are at. If you are spending time pouring into your kids, or connecting with your spouse – focus your energy and your attention into that. Don’t try and work at the same time.
The reality is you won’t get done what you hoped to accomplish. Instead, you will be leaving two buckets half full, instead of pouring into one bucket wholeheartedly. Put the work and the phone down. Instead, love on and pour into where you are in that moment. You will feel more like a whole version of yourself later. That way, later when you sit down to crank out some more work out you will be doing so from a more uplifting, satisfying place.
Finally, you can do this! Whenever you have that big moment of feeling all the overwhelm and stress, know that this week isn’t over. That this is not how your story has to go. In fact, you can have a different outcome and that choice to get there is yours! You can do this! You can work through the hard, work through the difficult and reach the goal you hope to accomplish! Cheering you on every single step of the way. Wishing you the BEST day and an amazing week friends!
Looking for additional reads on how to be more productive and accomplish more in the workplace? Sharing a few more favorites below!