Feeling burnt out? Find out how to relieve stress and get things done
You’re at the office, working on a presentation which is due tomorrow.
While you’re trying to focus, your boss walks into the office and asks you if you can take care of another task. Urgently.
So you turn your attention to your new task, while the thought of completing the previous one still nags at your mind. And while you work, your phone and email start stacking up new messages and notifications.
Your head starts to pound and your pulse quickens. There’s just too much to do, too much demanding your attention. You feel overwhelmed.
You know you’re not working as effectively as you could be, but don’t know how to take control over the situation.
It’s a downward spiral, and at the end of that spiral you’ll drag yourself home feeling burned out, demotivated and wondering what you could have done differently.
Take a scientific approach
Fortunately, once you understand how poor task planning can affect you, there’s a fairly straightforward solution to the problems you are facing.
In his book “Your brain at work”, performance coach David Rock highlights the impact that poor planning can have on your brain. As you try to remember activities and tasks, you consume cognitive energy, reducing productivity and generating feelings of anxiety and insecurity.
In simple terms, failing to identify and structure tasks can place your brain under immense stress. The cognitive energy you have available to you is subsequently not used to get things done, but is instead sucked up by the negative feelings and stress created by your lack of planning.
While David Rock identifies the problem, productivity consultant, David Allen, provides the solution.
The ‘Getting things done’ approach developed by him is designed to avoid placing yourself under unnecessary stress while working, while boosting your productivity and mental clarity.
And this approach is incredibly simple:
- Set aside an hour.
- Write down all the tasks you need to get done, no matter how insignificant. Use a tool that makes it as easy as possible to record and retrieve this information
- Take every task and break it down into actionable steps. This not only helps you remember what each task is when you review the list, but breaks the stuff you need to do into practical, manageable pieces.
- Organize your tasks according to priority and category. Set a due date on each task, where possible. This means you’ll know what you need to do next and also allows you to tackle similar types of tasks in batches.
- Review your list and identify which tasks need further clarification and what you need to do next.
- Get started on your tasks. Don’t procrastinate. It is recommended that you create a category of ‘quick tasks’ that can be completed in 2-3 minutes. Work through those first and you’ll be amazed at how quickly your task list starts cleaning up. Once you’re done with the quick stuff, move onto the high priority tasks you identified.
Use the right tool
In the old days, you’d have structured your tasks using a pen and paper. While these old fashioned tools are still a helpful way to quickly jot down what you need to do, using technology and the right tools can make it so much easier to retrieve and work through your tasks efficiently, and on time.
For example, technology can help you:
- Position your task list in the Cloud. Which means there’s no risk of losing the work you’ve done to structure your tasks. You can instead access your task list anywhere and any time you’re online.
- Change task priority more easily. Dragging and dropping your tasks into order by priority is something you can’t do with paper and pen.
- Search for tasks. With the right tool you can tag or categorize tasks, making it easier for you to find specific tasks that get lost in the long list of things you need to get done.
- Share tasks. If there’s a task you need to delegate, it’s great to be able to send them a notification or an email about the task – and an automatic reminder when it’s due.
- Set and follow up on deadlines. Establishing a due date is an important step in getting organized. What’s even better is to have software keep track of due dates for you, and remind you when you need to get things done.
Meet the ‘Task Done’ Hunter
What you need is a digital assistant that will help you structure your tasks, connect you with the people you can delegate work to, and help you follow up on tasks until they’re done and out of mind.
SOPHY is designed to make it as easy as possible to record, manage and get tasks done on time.
With a clean, uncluttered interface, SOPHY is easy to use, and is perfect for applying each of the steps in the ‘Getting things done’ approach.
SOPHY is packed with great features that can help you stay on top of your workload.
- A Cloud-based interface that allows you to use and access SOPHY from any online device at any time.
- The option to add as much, or as little, detail to tasks as you want. Simply give the task a name to identify it, or add documents and files to any task after you’ve written a more in-depth description for the task.
- Integrated asset management. Does a task require you to access, move or modify a business or home asset? SOPHY lets you upload as many assets as you like, and manage them seamlessly through your task list.
- Smart notifications. You’ll receive notifications on changes to tasks or due dates both in-app and via email. Even better, you and your team members can mark tasks as completed directly from your email reminders!
- Integrated chats that allow you to have conversations with your team members about specific tasks, establishing a virtual paper trail that makes it much easier to be transparent and accountable for how tasks are handled.
Complex problems may seem like they require complex solutions, and an out of control task burden is no exception.
However, SOPHY combined with the ‘Getting things done’ strategy provide a practical and simple path away from the overloaded, disorganized work day.
Try SOPHY now to find out how easy it can be to reduce stress, improve productivity and get things done on time.