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Top 10 Tips to Increasing Your Productivity with Less Stress and Overwhelm

Top 10 Tips to Increasing Your Productivity with Less Stress and Overwhelm:


As busy professionals, we’re all seeking ways that we can get more done.  I don’t know about you, but I feel like the pace of the world has accelerated drastically since I first started out in my career when I couldn’t access emails and messages 24/7 (what did I do with my time back then?).  How can we navigate the “busyness” of the world while maintaining our sanity?  Read on for a few of my tips and strategies to incorporate into your life to become more productive starting today. 


Top 10 Tips to Increasing Your Productivity with Less Stress and Overwhelm:


1.       Disable notifications – while our smartphones and computers are designed to not let us miss incoming information, those little sounds and notifications coming constantly onto your computer or phone are not only incredibly distracting, but they provoke the stress response and feeling of overwhelm.  Disable those notifications that aren’t essential and notice how your anxiety might go down.


2.       Utilize your email features to your advantage – get to inbox zero by reading all your daily emails, responding to those that are urgent, filing those that aren’t in folders.  Not everything needs to be addressed fully immediately, but email inboxes that pile up and become unmanageable contribute to higher stress, overwhelm and inefficiency.  I am a big fan of the “follow-up” flag and task list so that I know that I’ll remember to do something in the future, but I can clear my mind to move on to other priority tasks.  I also utilize a specific color-coding system, so I can clearly identify the type of email topic it concerns.  If you use Outlook, there is even an under-utilized feature that allows you to “delay delivery” on your emails and the recipient will never know.  (I find this particularly helpful if I want to get my response of my mind but want to time my email to be delivered when I know it will be most well-received.) If you use Gmail, you can install the app Boomerang to schedule emails, follow ups and you can even “Pause” your inbox which is incredibly helpful when you have a project to work on!


3.       Take time to recharge – as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and professional educator, I know more than anyone how much being stressed really impacts our health and overall productivity.  Work hard while you’re working but take time to rest and recharge and you’ll be more effective.  Instead of pushing through, if you’re tired and overwhelmed, your effectiveness (and health) is compromised.   


4.       Maintain a healthy diet – as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I know more than anyone how a real-food, nutrient dense diet can truly transform your life and the amount of energy and mental clarity you have to be more productive.  When you’re busy or overwhelmed, taking the time to eat something healthy is usually the first thing to be sacrificed, but if you make your diet a priority, you will find that you feel better to accomplish even more throughout the day while feeling better about yourself.  Self-care is a critical aspect to being successful, but I find that most of us in the wellness field are such givers that we often neglect our own self-care at the expense of others and this is one easy area that you can control.  It doesn’t have to be complicated, but just focus on putting nutrient dense, real-food in your body and you’ll be amazed at what that can do for your productivity levels.


5.       Use technology to your advantage – I find a lot of time is wasted trying to coordinate schedules, so one easy tool I like to use to better manage that task is Doodle, but there are numerous tools and apps that can make this easier. Similarly, you don’t need to have a degree in project management to leverage the myriad of project management platforms that encourage team collaboration.  It might take a little time to learn a new technology, but the time you’ll save in the end will be worth it.


6.       Say no – I am the first person who will take on too much, but when I started to say “no” to some things, or let non-essential things go, I opened up space to become more productive with the things that were more important or meaningful to me.  Setting healthy boundaries and understanding your priorities is a skill that should be cultivated.  I have a free Setting Healthy Goals Workbook if you find it difficult to focus yourself on your goals which you can download here as a resource in both your personal and professional life.


7.       Schedule it – if you carve out specific times on your calendar to accomplish certain tasks and projects, you’ll be more likely to complete them.  Certainly, situations that need to be addressed are still a possibility and you have the control to adjust if something else takes priority, but the more you block off time on your calendar to do something, the better the chances are that you will get it done without it looming over you.  Think of it as any other “appointment” that you have to keep with someone else, except it’s one you keep with yourself.


8.       Take a break – taking a break may seem counterintuitive to increasing your productivity but stepping away from a project or the screen may actually provide you with the right dose of perspective and rejuvenation that you need to be more focused when you return to it.  Take a stretch break or little walk around the building or do a few office exercises.  If you work in a corporate environment, you can even chat for a few minutes with a coworker or you can do a 5-10-minute meditation on your favorite app (mine just happens to be Calm).  This also includes a break from social media (a major time suck) and you can even s


9.       Track your time – there are many technology tools that can help you manage this even when you’re not thinking about it, but you can do it simply yourself with filling out a log of what you spend your time on for a week to see where you might be wasting precious minutes or hours in the day.  You might be surprised how much time you’re spending on social media when you or responding to incoming emails when could limit yourself to checking it and posting on it for 10 minutes a day and get more of your life back.


10.   Prioritize sleep – not only do we have “brain fog” if we don’t get enough rest, but we can’t bring our best selves to the world if we are dragging.  It’s more about quality than quantity in my opinion, so limit your screen time and checking emails late at night if you find yourself having a hard time winding down.  There are many holistic sleep remedies like essential oils, magnesium and valerian root tea you can use too if you find it hard to dose off.


This is a long list, so if you can pick JUST ONE of these to try for the next 7-21 days, you can start creating healthier habits to support your overall output. 


Remember, being “busy” doesn’t equate to being productive.  As we strive to become healthier and to contribute our talents to the world, let’s not celebrate the badge of being “busy” anymore and instead strive to be more respectful of our time – the most precious gift of all!


What are some of your favorite productivity tips?


Feeling overwhelmed with life in general and want to get back to prioritizing your health and wellbeing?  Schedule a FREE Health Consultation with me to learn how to create your personal wellness plan with ease.


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