Yesterday I pointed you to some blogs of mine about self care ….and today I’d like to point you to some blogs about being productive. It’s part of the modern workplace and indeed modern life that we have more to do. It’s a curse and a blessing I feel. It’s great that we have so many opportunities and it’s great that in our job as a social worker we can help many people. But that comes at a cost. And that cost is often our well being. Stress manifests itself and we feel overwhelmed. Stress is not necessarily a bad thing. A certain level of stress, often referred to as eustress (‘eu’ is a Greek language prefix for good) can motivate and stimulate. As you will know if you exercise putting your body under stress is good. You get those aches and pains but also you feel good. The stress had a positive impact.
Mental stress can also be a good thing. Our stress responses are rooted in our fight or flight response and this can motivate us to get on with things. Read about it here.
However when we are stressed all of the time, our body constantly on high alert, awash with adrenaline, this can have a negative impact on our emotional and mental well being.
One of the things we can do to help in this area, both at work and at home is to be organised. By having a method that helps capture everything you need to do, for example, a comprehensive calendar, you can reduce some of those feelings of overwhelm. Yes, you will spot you still have a lot to do, but you won’t be worrying about forgetting things. So setting time aside to plan your diary and break your workload down into tasks at the start and the end of the day may feel counterintuitive… ‘I don’t have time to do what I have to do Stephen! And now you want me to set aside 20 minutes twice a day to plan!!!!’ Yes I do! There’s a Zen adage that says, “You should sit in mediation for 20 mins a day. Unless you’re too busy, then you should sit for 1 hour”.
And the same is true for planning. The more you have to do, and the less time you have to do it all, the more time you should spend planning what to do. Because then you will know exactly what it is that you need to do and what it is safe to do later. Doing this will stall procrastination in it’s tracks and you will just get on and ‘do’ – ticking things off your list as you go!
There are some other things that might help….. And you can read about them in the following places…..
Setting Goals – read about it here
And there’s some stuff here about diary management and tasks
And there’s some ideas below about keeping yourself well and therefore productive
And finally… think about how you measure success
….oh no …another thing ….think about priority as a singular not a plural word. A priority is the thing you are going to work on right now…. so there can only ever be one priority. If you try to have more than one then you’ll try to multitask… and that diminishes your productivity. Trust me! It does. I’ll tell you more about that in a blog soon!