Today’s post is being written while I test out a new application I found out about (thanks Justyna!). It’s called Noisli and well, looks fun.
I’m listening to sounds of rain and thunder and at the same time I’m trying to organise my thoughts, as the week turned out to be totally different than I planned, filled with things, duties and busyness I honestly didn’t anticipate. Most of the stuff going on is good, but my head is still not working the way I’d like it to! It gives me tons of ideas to write about, but it doesn’t cooperate, when I want to write something longer than five or six sentences. Hence the introduction – chaotic, weird and totally not the way I like them – but when your head is full of things to do, your usual effective action is not so effective 😉
My to-do list is getting longer with every passing day, even though I am eliminating tasks one by one – new ones show up like crazy. So I started to wonder how to survive such a week. And I know, it’s Thursday already (I have no idea when that happened 😀 ), but there are still a few days left – considering that for me every day is equal, be it Wednesday or Saturday. So, I decided more or less right now to share a short list of things that help me survive times like these – when I feel overwhelmed, tired, swamped and I can’t see the end of the craziness Hopefully it will come in handy when you find yourself in such a situation, though I don’t wish it on anyone 😀
First – slow down!
I get it, it sounds irrational, especially when you are against the clock and the pile of tasks is growing. However, I’m pretty sure you don’t need to think hard to remember, that when you’re in a hurry mistakes, errors, slip-ups and other accidents happen, and they don’t help, when you’re already feeling like your head might explode. So, slow down, even if for just a moment. Sit comfortably. Take a deep breath. And think…
Second – plan!
The thinking part? Well, you might want to use it on figuring out how to do all the stuff that you’re facing right now in the most productive, efficient way possible – what to do in what order, at what times, on what days, so that you can actually use the time wisely, knowing that we all have the same amount of it in a day – even if it may seem that others have more 😉 But, the day has only 24 hours, so how much you can squeeze out from that is totally up to you! Just remember to use your head when squeezing – for example group similar activities, because you might get into a rhythm and that will save you time and take interruptions and delays into account and block out some time for those – even if you’ll be ready for less, it’s better to have some time available, than none at all.
Third – break!
I mean, take a break 😉 Yes, in this crazy, chaotic time, when you think there is no way in hell you’ll get out from under all the tasks that are waiting for you remember that you are human and you need time to regenerate – even short, irregular periods of respite may save you, when you eel like your brain is on fire, and your hands need someone else to push them into motion 😉 I admit, this one is not my strongest habit, but I am trying to take a break, even for 5 minutes every hour or two (oh, how I love the alarm in my phone for that!) and if I can, I’ll make it to 15 minutes! After such a break I work better, more effectively and well, it’s a bit more pleasurable.
Fourth – drink up!
Water, I mean, drink water 😉 Taking into consideration this commonly known fact that our bodies, and especially our brains contain loads of water (over 70%*), how much water we drink is directly connected to how well we perform. The more water you consume, the better your body functions not only on the hot days. And the better the body works, the better the brain works – well, the faster we deal with problems, situations and tasks at hand
Fifth – sleep!
Exactly. Get. Enough. Sleep. Because it help you regenerate not only your body, but also your mental resources, so the correct amount will again benefit your productivity. And yes, you might feel tempted to stay up all night (or five), because when the crazy period is gone, you’ll be able to sleep in and catch up on those night you lost, however if that frantic period lasts more than 48 hours, you might do more harm than good no sleeping enough. Instead of going to bed at 4 am and getting up one hour later, give yourself at least 6 hours of rest, though I do prefer 8-9 hours in such times, as I have much more energy and I can deal with stuff more effectively Try it for yourself, though!
Sixth – move!
I’m not saying you’ve got to run a marathon, but a short, brisk walk or a bike ride might benefit you, a lot. Especially outside, though an inside workout is good as well, because it will chase away the tiredness for a while, kicking in some endorphin and giving you time to stop thinking about what you need to do next. Getting outside has some additional bonuses – fresh air, sun and a chance to change your surroundings being the first that come to mind. Each of those is good and useful, helping you not go crazy in a time when you feel you will. So spend one of your breaks for a quick run around the block, go to the nearest part or do some squats or push-ups if it’s raining. Just move
Seventh – reward!
Sounds trivial, right? Besides, you are used to rewarding others, especially kids for good behaviour, but rewarding yourself? Naah, doesn’t sound right, or does it? If you can admit to yourself how much stuff you managed to accomplish, pat yourself on the back, give something to yourself – a small token, a favourite dish, a trip to the cinema or maybe a massage – in times like these that might save your sanity and be much more effective than doing another thing from your list Try it, give yourself time for positive reinforcing and realise that each and every thing you manage to finish in such a crazy period is a success on its own and deserves a reward And as you know yourself best, the reward will be the best 😉 So have fun!
Now, those things seem to be the ones I use most often when facing a period of craziness, busyness, unexpected events, situations I thought would happen but not for a year or so and generally being swamped with duties… I do hope that if you find yourself in such a position, those little tips will help you survive! Though fingers crossed for you not having to go through such times anytime soon!
Have a great week!
*I wrote it like that because the sources I found give different numbers – some say 73%, other 78%, but they all seem to agree that it’s always above 70% 😉