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November 4, 2016 By John Boitnott

5 Ways to Keep From Pulling Your Hair Out on Busy Days

November 4, 2016

By John Boitnott

Read More from John Boitnott

November 4, 2016

5 Ways to Keep From Pulling Your Hair Out on Busy Days

By John Boitnott
Contributor

We’ve all been there. You’ve already been working for a few hours and, despite having completed multiple tasks, you are still sitting under a pile of work. Especially this time of year – for many of us, the end of the year means crunch time. No matter how fast or efficient you are, some days it seems as though there’s no way to decrease the size of that mountain of effort still ahead of you. On busy days, and especially when there are meetings involved, it can feel like a marathon that never ends. Here are five simple tips that can come in handy on those “pull your hair out” busy days.

  1. Know Your Limits.
    No matter what it is you do, there are going to be busy days when it’s a struggle to get anything done, let alone stay calm while doing it. On those days, one of the best things you can do is step away. If something is bothering you or distracting you, give yourself a moment to regroup, grab a coffee or take a walk – even if it means leaving a meeting or rescheduling. Help keep some balance in your day, and take the call with join.me from home or the road.
  2. Make Yourself Comfortable.
    Given the amount of time that you and millions of other workers spend at your desk each day, it’s only right that you should try to be as comfortable as possible. It may sound silly but, on busy days, you may want to use your surroundings to let yourself relax a little, even if that means wearing your fuzzy slippers in the office. If tea or other beverages help you to relax, make sure you have your favorites on hand. Play your favorite music while tackling a project. Also, make sure you’ve set up your workstation so that it’s ergonomically correct and comfortable – an aching back will only add stress to your day.
  3. Put Your Apps to Work.
    If you have a full plate, you should be sure that you are putting your tools to work as well. Productivity apps designed to help you organize your activities and manage your schedule can be your best friends on the worst days. Finding apps that play well together and save you a few seconds in switching from one to the other can be a real time-saver – those seconds add up! If you delegate some of your workload and put your apps to work, you’ll find those busy days a bit easier to handle.
  4. Embrace the List.
    Lists can help you see when you are making progress and also help you focus on one thing at a time. Whether you use a task management app like Trello or kick it old school with a notebook and pen, you can create a list and then prioritize it. Break it down into manageable chunks and cross them off one by one. Set a reminder to get a heads up when it’s close to time for any meetings or conferences so you can give yourself some time to prepare.
  5. Tackle the Difficult Tasks First.
    Some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs have been known to schedule the hardest items on their to-do lists for when they first start work. Once you have tackled the difficult tasks, the rest of the day can get a little better and, at least seem a bit easier. At the end of the day, you may have saved the best for last so that instead of dreading the next task, you look forward to it a little more than the last one. This also can mean that there’s less pressure as your day gets busier because the toughest tasks are behind you, and you can be less likely to feel like yanking out your hair.
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  • Alan Fox | 2 years, 4 months ago

    These are good, thanks. I like scheduling the most difficult first with a fresh brain, then they are done!