How to Tackle your Mountain of Work
What goes around comes around, and when what goes around is procrastination, what comes around is a pile of built-up work that you don’t even know where to begin with. We’ve all been there. If your work has built up to Everest-sized proportions, the dread of starting it also increases, and thus a vicious cycle is born.
Luckily 7 Virtual Assistant Services are here to help you to defeat and conquer your mountain with a few key pieces of advice:
Get up early
This is probably the most important point. It applies usually, really, but specifically if you’ve got a huge backlog of work to start in a day. The later you get up, the more unmotivated you feel, the harder it is to get to work; particularly if you have a lot to do.
According to Laura Vanderkam, author of the e-book “What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast”, the most productive entrepreneurs of our time are people “who have figured out that if you want something to happen, it’s important to have it happen first thing.”
Get up at 7 or 8am, wake yourself up with a coffee and a shower, and you can start the day positively knowing that you have the time to get a big chunk of work done.
Get out of your office
If you’ve been putting work off for a while, it can be helpful to physically change up your immediate environment. Whether it’s a library, your closest Starbucks or a local independent café in your area, making the deliberate commute to somewhere with your laptop will get your head in the mindset for work.
Tell yourself that you’re going to stay there until you’ve completed at least ‘X’ number of tasks.
If you need to be more productive at work but can’t leave the office, then try changing your workspace just by rearranging your seats or changing the desk!
Make a to-do list
Use your diary or post-it notes (or even a digital sticky note) to list realistic goals for your day, allocating a generous amount of time for each task and time for meals and breaks. The incentive of crossing things off a list will be motivated to stick to the time blocks you’ve allocated for each piece of work.
Don’t give yourself over-ambitious, vague tasks. Break the big things down into small manageable chunks – e.g. instead of ‘Write report’, make each part of researching, planning, and writing different sections of a report all separate and individual tasks. This might lengthen your list but you’ll work through it much faster, which will give you positive reinforcement to keep going.
Productivity apps or project management tools like Wunderlist and Asana can offer you digital versions of to-do lists if you prefer to organize your day via the internet or smartphone.
Sort out your inbox – then leave it alone
First things first! As you start your day, sit down and sweep through your inbox in as much of a single fell swoop as you can so you know there’s nothing urgent waiting for you – start today!
Now stop checking it. You might think you’re just keeping updated but checking your inbox wastes unnecessary time and attention. Unplug yourself from distractions you don’t need online, whether they be your email, social media or any other unnecessary messaging platforms. Any new messages you get can wait at least a few hours until you get some of your work done.
Keep the end in sight
Stop feeling stressed about the sheer amount of work you have ahead of you. It seems obvious, but just remember that the more work you do, the smaller your mountain will get, even if it’s a slow process. Everything you cross off is one less thing on the list.
And of course – hire a Virtual Assistant!
So now you’ve sorted out the proverbial mountain, there’s nothing to do but relax! … Well, and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Remember: the more you do, the more you do. Once you apply things like early starts and to-do lists into your daily routine they’ll be easy to keep up, and you’ll be naturally and consistently more productive.
Hopefully, it’ll be a while before you have a backlog again, but if it does happen we’ll always be here with helpful blog posts and even more helpful Virtual Assistants!
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