Yesterday was a lovely Spring Sunday. I spent a substantial amount of time planning and writing blog posts for the coming week.
Yet the day before was a completely different story. On Saturday, I looked at the tasks on my to-do list and was overcome by that heavy, sinking feeling of being completely overwhelmed.
It seemed everywhere I turned there was something to start, a job that was overdue or a task that needed to be finished, which got me thinking – how did I get to this point?
After some thought, I realized what the problem was.
I wasn’t being consistent.
Here are the areas I need to focus on. Perhaps they can help with your consistency as well.
Maintaining my energy levels by having a steady work schedule
I have been working hard at the office as well as at home. However despite this, tasks are beginning to fall between the cracks because I am not being consistent in the way I go about my work.
I’ll give you an example. I do a whole bunch of tasks one day, staying up late, then nothing for two days after that, then I repeat the process, all the while trying to tick off a massive to-do list.
Instead of working a couple of solid, focused hours each day, my work schedule seems to be all over the place.
Since I have been back at work, I have been running on irregular bursts of energy. I work like crazy, then I seem to slow down and sometimes come to a screeching halt. Then I pick myself up and the burst of energy starts all over again.
The problem with this cycle of working is that it is unsustainable.
Eventually you will fall into a screaming heap. I’m not at that point yet, but I am certainly sensing trouble brewing if I continue on this path.
Instead what I need is a gradual but continuous stream of energy, so I don’t burn myself out.
If I spread the workload out evenly over several days, allowing myself a small amount of allocated downtime, it will not be as taxing.
Related post – Your Greatest Resource – Energy
Be consistent in dealing with problems
I have had a lot of outside distractions lately. Unfortunately a lot of them have been negative.
At some point and I am not really sure when or how, I allowed my problems to get on top of me – or at least that’s how I have felt of late.
I was starting to feel the strain because I was trying to deal with everything at once or on the odd occasion not wanting to deal with anything at all.
Then I decided to try to tackle each problem one at a time (to spread them out so to speak). Not exactly an easy task, as life rarely throws one problem at us at a time. I decided to focus on my most pressing issue, fix that and move on to the next one. So far, I have found that it’s definitely helping with my overall stress levels.
Regular housework and home maintenance
You may wonder how this can affect my writing and blogging schedule but lately it has been.
Again at the beginning of the week, I cook myself healthy meals, clean up, then get to writing. By the end of the week the tiredness has set in, the dishes are piling up and I am grabbing take away for dinner.
By Saturday morning, my house is a total mess – which does not put me in a good head space for writing all day Saturday.
If I put my writing aside for fifteen minutes and do a small amount of cleaning up each time I make a mess, life will be a lot easier.
Have a doable ‘to do’ list.
Unfortunately that is one thing I have been consistent with lately – writing up long, impossible to complete to-do lists.
I wasn’t doing this (or at least not as badly) while I had my time off. I notice I seem to be jotting down random dot points for my to-do list while I am at work during the day. The end result however is a list I could not possibly complete.
It goes without saying, I need to cull these lists and then focus on the important tasks and get those done.
Related post – How to Escape To Do List Hell?
Plan to have enough down time
I can’t remember the last time I took the whole weekend off (actually it was my Mum’s 70th birthday back in early August).
While working a lot of hours sounds like it would be productive, it’s actually having the opposite affect. If I plan more down time to recharge my batteries, while ensuring I get the important work done (emphasis on the word important), I’m sure I would get a lot more completed and overall be more productive.
Being consistent is important. It’s about focusing on your priorities and making sure they get done on a regular basis.
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