Monthly Mission: Feeling Overwhelmed and the Power of 48 Minutes
Have you ever felt completely overwhelmed by your to-do list, or the people calling you, or the growing number of emails in your inbox?
Would you like to know my secret to fix it?
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Back in the day, in the construction business, summer had this overwhelming feeling to me.
The rain stopped, projects were rolling, and we had a lot to get done in a short period of time. We had to work while the sun was up, and the weather was stable. Overwhelm was in full swing.
Now, when we visit our construction contractors in the summer, we see it in their faces. They love and hate summer and the busyness that comes with it.
Yesterday I felt that familiar feeling of summer overwhelm. However, within 60 minutes, I felt TOTALLY different.
Here is my protocol. It makes a big difference for me and I hope it will for you too!
Step 1: Set the timer for 5 minutes and write down everything you need to do. All the stuff that is eating at you goes on the list. Don’t analyze each item…just write them all down. The trick is get them out of your head and onto paper.
Step 2: Set the timer for 2 minutes and decide the most critical items that must be done. Hint, it will take you about 30 seconds to look at your list and decide.
Step 3: Spend 5 minutes and get ready: shut off phones, email, tell others you are going to be unavailable, close the office door, put up a sign, go to the bathroom, get your coffee, etc. You will be doing some serious work, so get any distractions out of the way. Do WHATEVER you have to do so that no one will bother you. I’m DEAD SERIOUS about this one. I know you are busy. I know people need you, but this step is critical to getting that nasty, sick feeling to go away and getting control.
Step 4: Set the timer for 48 minutes. I typically use my phone, but I also have one on my computer that counts down for me. With these precious 48 minutes, just work. I mean, WORK. Get through that list right now. Do not stop, do not look up, do not get coffee or go to the bathroom or get distracted. Just work on that list for 48 minutes as though your life depends on it – because it does. Stress will kill you, so work.
Step 5: The timer goes off. What did you accomplish? How do you feel? What is left on your list?
I am amazed at what I can accomplish. My Dad used to say, “the time it takes is directly proportional to the time you have.” If you must get it done in 48 minutes, you will.
Try it out!
Would you like more productivity hacks? Click here to download our Top 10 Time-Management Productivity Hacks so you can get more done and go do fun stuff.