Do you wish it was the weekend already, but it’s only Thursday?
Your desire to get up and go has vanished, leaving you to contend with sluggishness, overwhelm, and an ever-expanding To-Do List!
The good news is that you are not alone!
It's very common for people to feel exhausted and struggle to maintain their momentum by the end of the work week, and it's important to tackle the root cause and find ways to manage your energy levels.
Here are some hacks to help you get out of a funk on a Wednesday afternoon:
Reassess Your Optimal Daily Workload:
The optimal daily workload varies depending on factors such as an individual's experience, skill level, and personal circumstances. Whatever this means for you, it's important to strike a balance between work and rest in order to avoid burnout and maintain overall well-being.
You can try these out:
Establish and know your limits: Pay attention to your energy levels and avoid taking on too much work at once.
Prioritize tasks: Focus on the most important tasks first and try to limit distractions.
Take breaks: Regular breaks can help you stay refreshed and focused. Aim for at least 10-15 minutes of break time for every hour of work.
Avoid working overtime: Try to maintain a consistent work schedule and avoid working too many hours or taking work home.
Delegate tasks: If you're feeling overwhelmed, consider delegating some tasks to others.
Find a happy medium between work and rest; this will help you maintain your energy levels and stay productive throughout the day.
Keep An Eye Out For Cumulative Burnout:
Carrying stress and workload from one day to the next can result in cumulative burnout, which can accumulate into exhaustion and a sense of overwhelm on a Friday.
Use these hacks to leverage:
Being systematic: Having a clear system for organizing your work and prioritizing tasks can help you manage your workload effectively. Consider using tools like to-do lists, calendars, and time-management apps to stay on track.
Defending boundaries: It's important to set clear boundaries between work and personal time. This can include not checking work emails or taking work calls outside of work hours.
Creating space: Review your to-do list and try to eliminate tasks that don't contribute to your overall goals or bring you joy. See if you can delegate these tasks or have a virtual assistant take on the tasks you despise. This way you can spend more time on the things you love!
Not taking on more work: It's important to be mindful of your workload and avoid taking on more tasks than you can handle, especially if you have worked hard to free up time for yourself.
By implementing these strategies, you can avoid cumulative burnout, maintain your energy levels, and stay productive throughout the week.
Watch Your Energy Levels:
Energy depletion happens when you constantly push beyond your work limit and continue to take on tasks, even when you are feeling exhausted and drained or failing to optimize your workflow with your energy levels. This can result in a persistent feeling of fatigue, decreased motivation, and decreased productivity.
Correctly utilizing and optimizing your most productive times can assist in preventing energy depletion. Here are some strategies to consider:
Stack the work correctly: This means prioritizing tasks based on their level of importance and tackling them in a way that makes the most of your time and energy. For example, you may want to focus on complex or demanding tasks during your most productive hours and save less demanding tasks for when you feel less focused.
By stacking your work correctly and optimizing your most productive times, you can make the most of your energy levels and avoid feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. This can help you stay productive and focused throughout the day.
The Type of Work Matters:
“Deep Work” is a term coined by author and professor Cal Newport to describe the practice of focusing without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. This type of work requires concentration and effort and can result in significant progress and output.
It's a good idea to schedule deep work for Monday and Tuesday when you're feeling fresh and focused, as this can help you make the most of your energy and productivity levels. However, it's important to ensure that you're not doing Tier 1 work in a Tier 3 block of time, as this can lead to burnout and decreased productivity.
"Tier 1 work" refers to tasks that are the most important and have the greatest impact on your goals and priorities. These tasks should be given the highest priority and be scheduled during your most productive hours.
"Tier 3 work" refers to tasks that are less important and have a lower impact on your goals and priorities. These tasks can be deferred or outsourced to someone else, as they are less likely to have a significant impact on your progress.
By prioritizing your work based on its importance and scheduling your Tier 1 work during your most productive hours, you can avoid burnout and ensure that you're using your time and energy effectively.
A Jump-Start Can Help:
"Productive Procrastination" is a term used to describe the act of doing less important tasks to avoid tackling a more important or challenging task. While it can be tempting to engage in this behavior, it's important to be mindful of it and ensure that you're not falling into the trap of getting a lot done but not doing the most critical task.
Trick yourself into productivity:
Look at your priority list. Review your to-do list and assess the importance of each task. This can help you focus on the most critical tasks and prioritize your time and energy accordingly.
Pick an item that you have the willingness to do. If you're feeling unmotivated or overwhelmed, choose a task that you have the willingness to do, even if it's not the most important item on your list. This can help you build momentum and get started on a productive task.
Use productive procrastination in moderation. Allowing yourself to engage in productive procrastination in moderation can help you get started on a task and build momentum. Just be sure not to fall into the trap of doing only less important tasks and neglecting the most critical ones.
By tricking yourself into productivity, you can get started on important tasks, build momentum, and make progress towards your goals. However, it's important to ensure that you're not sacrificing the most critical tasks in the process.
Yes, weekends are for R&R, but if you are not careful, you may end up squandering them away and compounding that ‘unproductive feeling,’ making it feel like a never-ending work day.
Set out some goals and plans for your weekend so you don’t end up rushing and cramming your days too full of activities.
Wherever possible, stay off social media and time wasters.
Cut Yourself Some Slack:
Celebrate your small victory if you have at least completed 80% of your daily to-do list. Maintain flexibility and be proud of your accomplishments. Make the most of your "planning your week" day by scheduling the 20% carry-over tasks.
Points To Ponder:
What am I doing unconsciously that adds to my burnout?
Where am I spending my time – how can I allocate my time better?
What beliefs am I carrying with me throughout my day and week? How can I reframe these as necessary?
What am I doing subconsciously that kills my time – like the muscle memory of picking up a phone and scrolling?
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Written by Tatum De Souza