Whether you work full-time or part-time, work at home or find yourself overwhelmed by other chores, use these tips to get your life back into shape.
1. How much time do you really have? Assessing your hours helps you calculate how much time each task should get and pace yourself.
2. Create the right setting. Where possible arrange your desk or workstation so you are comfortable and not easily distracted. (If you focus better with music on, that’s fine.)
3. Make a to do list. Ticking jobs off feels great and helps you prioritise so tasks can be worked through one at a time rather than piled up and left half-achieved.
4. Get hard tasks out of the way. You’ll feel fresher in the morning – the best time to tackle the trickiest problems! If you know you are putting off a difficult chore, talk to someone about it and put the problem into context. Remember: procrastinating will eventually affect your confidence in dealing with other things you’re good at.
5. Don’t over-promise. If you are snowed under, don’t agree to a new task you are almost sure you can’t fulfill. It will add to your stress. You can be constructive in offering an alternative, eg ‘I can get that report done but not until tomorrow morning.’ This is a more positive solution than saying ‘no’ or missing a deadline.
6. Block off email and phone time – have at least one hour’s quality time when you focus only on work.
7. Identify distractions. People you talk to, coffee breaks, emails. Ring-fence specific times in the day for these rather than letting interruptions break your concentration.
tip Drink water – staying hydrated helps you concentrate. Refuel, too.
Pass it on – make time for little details. If your days are interrupted by trips to the bank, sending mail etc, allocate a time once a week when they get sorted.