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Well, that should be our attitude when we approach a day that’s overloaded to the max with must-complete projects. Sadly, most of us are intimidated, harrowed, and weary when we look at a to-do list that is longer than Merlin’s beard. Most of us in the U.S. had MLK Day off from work yesterday. While that meant I got to relax, play Deus Ex: Human Revolution with my hubby, and laze about the house, it also meant that I now have two days worth of work to accomplish in ONE.

Strangely, I tend to get TONS of work done on days like this IF I can control my emotional reactions to the flood of projects and accept them with excitement, rationality, and anticipation. I love my work. Sometimes when there is just “too much” to do, I can get frazzled and forget that I love my job so much. I think we’re all like that. What is the solution, then? How can we approach an overloaded workday with a positive attitude? Here are my 5 tips for doing just that!

>>/1/ Remember that a positive mind helps to foster a positive workday. — Before you throw shoes at me for such a “cliche” or “eye-rolling-inducing” statement, take a moment to savor the fact that it is ABSOLUTELY true. You might say, “Well, what if I keep a positive attitude and my day still takes a turn for the worst?” I’d tell you that it ultimately doesn’t matter. Sure, you may have the most positive attitude in the world and your day might go south. If you react positively to that averse situation, you’ll feel a whole lot better about it than if you freak out and start letting negative thoughts roll into your mind. My advice is to think purposely positive thoughts while you assess your workload. Don’t say, “I’ll never get all this done.” Say instead, “I’m going to work my absolute hardest today and I just know that when I ‘clock out’ I’ll have accomplished a great deal.” If you notice negative thoughts creeping over the edges of your mind, squash them like the nasties that they are! Refuse to let them enter in and instead, intentionally think something positive. This may take vigilance and mindfulness that you’re not used to exhibiting, but it is well worth the mental and emotional effort. Trust me.

>>/2/ Mentally list the reasons why you love your job, or if you don’t love it list the reasons why your job is helping you to grow. — Many of us love our jobs and feel that what we’re doing is valuable to the world, ourselves, and our personal growth. Some people out there hate their jobs. Whatever the case is, take time to consider why you love your job (if you do) or why it is helping you to grow as a human being in positive and formative ways. Taking stock of these things can help you to develop appreciation for the hard days when so much is demanded of you. When you remember that you’re doing something worthwhile, it helps your mind to shift into “warrior mode”–that place where your body and mind recognize that you’re doing something worth “fighting for” and worth doing well.

>> /3/ Create a work environment that is conducive to major productivity. — I don’t mean that you should take four hours to overhaul your office or recreate a Japanese garden in your home or work building. I mean that you should eliminate needless distractions and inject whatever elements you need to create a bubble of peace and productivity. For me, that means working in low lighting with two lamps, a candle, and sunlight filtering through closed blinds. I detest working in crazy amounts of light, so I don’t do that. I keep a candle burning so that a pleasant scent wafts through my office space. It helps me to smile every now and then. I put on awesome music that helps keep my mind in the “here and now”. Today, I’ve got the Gladiator soundtrack on. I wear clothing that is warm, but not uncomfortable. I keep water at my desk. Whatever it is that you need to have on hand to keep you productive and focused, make it happen.

>> /4/ Use breaks to knock out other projects. — On “normal” days, I’d say take a break and go for a walk or read a book. On days when you’re overloaded with projects, use your breaks to notch other items off your to-do list. For instance, today I’ve got some major house projects that need to be completed in addition to work projects. So, when I am needing a mental break from “work”, I’ll go and pop a load of laundry in the washing machine or I’ll put up clean dishes. Use your breaks wisely on days like this. It will keep you from having to “stay so late” at work.

>> /5/ If you don’t end up getting everything done, refer to #1 above and don’t sweat it! — Life is full of surprises and there is a distinct possibility that you might not get everything done that needs to be done on your overloaded workday. If that happens, and you truly worked your absolute hardest, praise yourself for a job well done and don’t worry about it. Instead, take the rest of the evening off and relax. Let your mind rejuvenate and come to a peaceful place. Next morning, attack those remaining projects with energy and determination. Chances are, you’ll knock them out easily after your rest. It is so, so important to have a positive mind–especially about setbacks.

I hope those tips are helpful to you! If you’ve got an overloaded workday today, let these tips assist you in creating an intentionally productive schedule. Go out there and do good work!

Thanks for stopping by today! I truly hope that you all have a happy Tuesday. Thanks, again, to everyone who has been commenting and engaging in my posts lately. It has been fun “talking” with you guys!

5 Tips for Those Overloaded Workdays
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  • CC

    I’ve been struggling with getting everything done lately, and I think the biggest problem is just getting up and starting. Once things are started they really aren’t so bad.

    • Agreed. I’ve started getting up, showering, and putting on “real people clothes” in order to help give me some oomph in the wee hours of the AM, LOL.

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