The worst thing about waking up far later than you would’ve liked on a day where your workload is incredibly intimidating is realizing that you have little to no time to get anything done. I quite enjoy my one hour of me-time in the morning, sitting with a cup of tea, easing into my day, but the reality is that sometimes I just don’t get this option.
I tend to get overwhelmed the minute I realize that I woke up past noon after working late, trying to figure out how to cram every last task into my day without losing my mind. I had to learn to take a step back, calm my racing thoughts, and learn to prioritize the tasks that were the most important.
I had to acknowledge that there were going to be days where I just won’t be able to get everything done, and that shouldn’t be what kills my drive and determination. Even though I woke up late, I still have time to act on the tasks that can be done, and I’ve learned a few tips along the way to get the most done during a time crunch.
Calming the Initial Freak-Out
Yes, you have a million emails to answer, a deadline to meet, and you haven’t even had your morning cup of tea/coffee yet, but you have to take a step back and believe that everything is going to be okay. Whenever I feel like this, I tell myself that I’m going to focus all of my attention on one task at a time, making sure that I get through it entirely before moving onto something else.
Having something done at the start of your workday will make it more likely that you’re able to keep going, even if you’re tired or creatively exhausted. It’s important to calm the initial freak-out so you can make the most of the hours left in your workday.
Don’t Immediately Jump Into Work Before You’ve Started Your Day
I’ve noticed that when I bust out my laptop first thing upon waking up, frantically trying to get as much done as possible, I tire out much more quickly than if I were to take the time to get ready for the day. I know this might be counterproductive because you’ve already lost so many hours in your workday, but how you feel has a significant impact on the work you’re going to be able to get done.
No matter how stressed I feel, or how intimidating my list of to-dos might seem, I still follow my morning routine to make sure that I don’t give up halfway through the day and usually get so much more done than I could’ve imagined.
Prioritize, Plan, and Don’t Be Afraid to Move Things Around
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably gotten quite good at convincing yourself that you can get eight hours worth of work done in four, but that probably isn’t going to turn out the way you initially wanted it to. Take five minutes to plan out a schedule at the start of your workday, making sure you tackle all of the most important tasks first, so if you get more tired throughout the day, the smaller tasks won’t feel like much of an obstacle. Don’t be afraid to move things around to make the best use of your time, and make sure that you’re getting the important things done first before you jump into anything else.
Acknowledge What You Accomplished Every Day
I know it can be challenging to acknowledge that you worked hard even if you didn’t get everything done that you initially wanted to, but you still put the effort in, and you managed to finish something. Sometimes, we do so much more than we realize, and we still criticize ourselves because we set ridiculously high expectations. Take a moment at the end of your workday, no matter how late you began, acknowledge that you showed up and worked hard to get the work done.
Focus on Breaking the Bad-Habit Cycle
Don’t allow yourself to fall back into bad habits, like working far too late, not getting enough sleep, or not taking the time to de-stress. It’s okay to finish up work earlier than you may want, shut down your laptop, and head to bed at a reasonable hour because you may need the sleep. It took me a long time to realize that I was only hurting my body more by operating purely on stress, and the lack of sleep made it too hard to function properly throughout the day.
So, when I finish getting as much done as I can on a day where I woke up too late, I switch everything off early and prepare for a better day. It’s important to consider how you feel, what makes you happy, and what keeps you working hard. Don’t stress or overwhelm yourself to the point of exhaustion. It’s okay to take care of yourself and acknowledge that you need a bit of me-time before you jump right back into your work routine.
I hope these tips help you get through the challenging workdays and stay motivated!
Thank you for taking the time to read this post! Let’s stay in touch.
Anisa Nasir is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and family. She’s the writer behind As She Writes.