There are days that I am not organized enough to know what to do first. Some days are overwhelming because I have so much to do. Other days I am distracted and put my priorities to the side for someone else. Ugh! It is hard to have a productive day, day after day after day.

So, when those troublesome times appear, I have had to come up with a strategy to make the most out of a challenging day.

I love being home and working from home.

I love the opportunity to mingle work with personal appointments and get up early or stay up late to meet a deadline. For me, I am at my most productive self when I am working at home. But there is a drawback. It is sometimes easy to push a task to the next day or even week. There is always tomorrow.

It is easy to procrastinate, and that bad habit is hard to break.

If something doesn’t get done today, I can do it tomorrow. Without a boss to tell me it has to be done by five o’clock, it is difficult to push off that last minute invitation for lunch. I found myself getting further and further behind where I wanted to be.

I started to get behind on my goals.

I had to have a sit down with myself and reexamine why I wanted to build this business. I had to rediscover my passion and start saying no to going out for lunch. With my tasks piling up, I had to figure out how I was going to catch up on the work I procrastinated to do.

My solution was to make an all-encompassing to-do list.

I love a to-do list! I went through all my piles of papers, notes, email and bills. I organized the piles into categories and then wrote down each task on my to-do list. It was long. The next day, I woke up excited to get working but I no longer felt ambitious.

My motivation died because I felt overwhelmed.

My to-do list was just too long and instead of feeling excited, I felt discouraged. I was overwhelmed. That day turned out to be unproductive. The next morning, I woke up with the same feeling, but instead of doing nothing, I decided to focus on just one thing. It worked because that “one thing” motivated me to do the next thing, and the next, and the next. I had a very productive day and my mojo was coming back.

I continued to focus on one thing each day for the rest of the week.

Some days are so much more productive than other days. Some tasks just take more time. But at the end of the day, that “one thing” gets done. And that is very motivating.

I am calling this my “today’s focus” task.

Today’s focus was to write this blog. I will probably get more done before the day is over, but I know my main focus is complete. Not every day needs a push; most days are fine, and I follow my work schedule. But on the days when I feel overwhelmed, I decide what my focus will be for that day and I get it done. Anything more is just the gravy on top.

When you are feeling overwhelmed, instead of shutting down and doing nothing. Try to focus on just one thing. At the end of the day, you will feel good that at the very least, you accomplished your task.

Featured photo by Drew Graham on Unsplash.