We all have that point when we hit the blurry wall. If you’ve just read that sentence and thought – what are you talking about?!? I’m talking early starts, late nights; chaotic deadlines and being an all round wonder woman and people pleaser at work. This can make your life feel crazy and out of kilter. How can you feel calm in this situation?
The work life line inevitably shifts pushing life out of the window and you hear the sound of “eat sleep work repeat” ringing in your ears. You tell yourself you can manage (which you can!) but you don’t quite believe what you are telling yourself. Which in turn results in the what feels like the worst thing ever – it gets harder to maintain focus and achieve what you are capable of as you feel yourself burning out and hitting the “wall”.
This may sound dramatic but this is coming from a corporate lawyer… so believe me when I say crazy days like this exist. So I have learnt how to stay focused even when the world feels like it is coming to an end and this is how…
1. The “I have to do it all right now” panic
Did you know that when you have a long list of things to do, your brain tells you there is not enough time? It has an unhelpful habit of not appreciating timeframes. By this I mean; you will never have 10 things to do that must be completed simultaneously.
There is always an optimal order.
So if you get given 2 pieces of urgent work – tell your brain that you have 7 hours in a working day so it is completely possible to get both things done. The world will not end if they stay on your “to do list for an hour or two longer.
2. The “Done” List
Psychologically a “to do” list is the stomach sickening reminder that you have so much to do and far too little time. This is telling your brain that you are already defeated and leads to the counter productive thinking that spirals into overwhelming stress. That said, practically, you still need a way of remembering everything.
So, what is the solution? A “done” list!
Write a list of all of the tasks you have completed when you cross them of the “to do” list. Seems like a waste of time? It isn’t! Seeing a positive list of everything you have achieved gives you that mental boost that you are clearing your desk of those jobs and it reminds you that you are great at what you do.
3. Recharge the Batteries
If you use your phone all morning, by the afternoon the battery is low. Brains are the same. If you work flat out all morning, your brain will not work as effectively in the afternoon.
How do I recharge my brain?
Being outside in sunlight causes a chemical process in the brain that wakes you up again and shakes off the afternoon sluggish feeling. Even if only for 5 minutes, you will problem solve quicker and feel more in control when you get back into the office. A more efficient brain means you will approach your work in a calm manner. Managing your stress levels and your brain’s ability to cope with a hectic work schedule is key. Check out this article on how to maintain balance during your working day to avoid burn out.
#I want it all
Achieving a work life balance so you can accomplish all of your goals (career and personal) is so important but it isn’t easy. If you would like to find out more about the art of living a busy but beautifully balanced working life follow @TheWeeklyEdit.co.uk
Comment below with your tips and tricks to staying calm and focused!