We’ve all been there. There’s a big project due, and the stress is mounting. You have a million other things on your plate and don’t know how to find the focus or motivation to get everything done. What’s a busy professional to do? Take a deep breath and incorporate some of the strategies below to help you meet those deadlines while keeping your sanity.
1. Don’t Overwhelm Yourself
Make big projects less daunting by breaking them up into small tasks. Tackle these tasks one at a time, and take a break to keep your mind refreshed. Avoid adding new tasks until you complete the ones in front of you.
2. Plan Out Your Day
Writing down what you need to do can make it easier to focus. It can also reduce the stress that comes from wondering if you forgot something. Use a planner, calendar, sticky notes, or a bulletin board – whatever method works best for you. These tools also give you a concrete way to set deadlines, add notes and reminders, and track your progress.
3. Reward Yourself for Completing Tasks
Rewards reinforce your successes. Without them, you may feel trapped in an endless list of tasks and risk burning out. So, celebrate your accomplishments! Do something you enjoy. Buy yourself a gift. Even small breaks can feel rewarding in the midst of large projects. When you reach a milestone, take a day or two off and treat yourself.
4. Keep in Touch with Family and Friends
Though we may pursue different goals and face unique challenges, we’re all in this together. Share your experiences with the people in your life. Bounce ideas off of one another. Different perspectives can help you develop new strategies to tackle what lies ahead. If you share a common goal, for example, losing weight, you can join forces and motivate one another to succeed. No matter what, a friendly conversation for its own sake has great mental health benefits.
5. Keep Improving
It can be easy to fall into a particular way of doing things. If it works, that’s excellent, but it helps to be open to new strategies. It might be as simple as upgrading your tools, or as involved as taking a class to refresh or learn a new skill. Maybe you’d prefer to work different hours. If it’s in your budget, consider hiring an assistant to help with the workload. Continuous improvement and change keeps you motivated and ready to tackle new challenges.
6. Take Care of Your Health
Just as cars need regular maintenance and the right fuel, our bodies need to be tuned up as well. Eat a balanced diet, stay hydrated, and keep a regular sleep schedule. Take walks to get exercise, fresh air, and sunshine. Many people find great benefits in holistic activities such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing. A healthy body begets a healthy mind, and vice-versa.
Everyone has their own way of approaching big projects. Find what works for you and always be open to new strategies.