When you're stressed, even the simplest of tasks can feel impossible to complete. The good news is, there are simple things you can do to feel more on top of your tasks, even when you're struggling mentally. Next time you're having trouble getting through your to-do list or daily responsibilities at work or home, try one of these techniques to get motivated.
1. Plan out your day.
Take time to write out a daily routine and designate specific hours of the day to specific tasks. Creating a guide for your day makes the tasks feel more manageable. For example, your routine might say, "exercise during the morning, respond to emails for 10 minutes, make follow-up calls to clients later that morning, take a walk around the building to get a change of scenery, etc."
2. Make lists.
The simple act of writing down what you need to do can spark motivation and make you feel more productive. If you're feeling stressed, getting thoughts that are in your head onto paper can make them seem less overwhelming. Start with the tasks that you enjoy or are good at to help you stay motivated.
3. Break tasks into smaller steps.
When making your list, divide each task into small, more doable steps. When you have small things you can quickly check off your to-do list, you'll feel more accomplished and motivated.
4. Check in with yourself and be honest.
Ask yourself, "Am I feeling overworked or burnt out? Am I hungry? Have I had enough water today?"
It might not be work tasks that are stressing you out. Maybe it's something at home or your diet that's causing your lack of motivation.
5. Review your progress.
Take time to review all of the things you've finished that day, week, or even month. This can give you a sense of relief and motivation. Recognizing how capable you are is empowering and allows you to take on tasks that may have seemed impossible before.
6. Take a five-minute break.
Give yourself five minutes to take a quick walk around the block, stretch at your desk, or get a drink of water.
7. Create a playlist.
Having a certain playlist to listen to when you really need to buckle down and push through a task can help you get in the right mindset and stay focused.
8. Look at what you're eating and drinking.
Avoid too much caffeine- it can cause you to feel mentally cloudy or unfocused. Cut back on foods and drinks that are high in sugars, like soda, candy, and other sweet treats. Opt for protein, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates like quinoa, whole grains, and brown rice.