How Productive People Keep Themselves From Getting Overwhelmed At Work

Do you arrive at work Monday morning and immediately feel anxious? Do you feel like no matter how many hours you work you are still behind because you are always bouncing from one project to the next? Well, if so, you aren’t alone. It’s extremely difficult to juggle multiple tasks; so, here are a few tips that productive people use to help better manage their day:

  1. Set specific times each day to check email. For the longest time, I was guilty of having my email inbox open on the right side of my computer screen all day. As soon as I received an email, I would stop working on whatever I was working on to read and respond to the email. While this made me very responsive, it also made it impossible to finish a task because I was constantly interrupted. I started setting times to check my inbox. I started with every hour because I was worried about missing something important. But I soon realized that I can check my email every two to three hours. If something is truly an emergency, the person will call.
  2. Make a to-do list and stick to it. Make a to-do list that prioritizes tasks. Focus on fully completing each task before moving to the next one.
  3. Tell people when you’re too busy to chat. If you’re in the middle of an assignment and a coworker comes by to tell you about her date last night, it’s ok to tell her that you’re on a deadline but as soon as you’re done you will come by to hear all about it. Don’t be afraid to fiercely protect your time.
  4. Put your phone away. Sometimes, we get flustered because in the midst of completing a task, we are also answering text messages, looking at social media, and reading the latest news on the government shut down. But, when you are trying to complete an assignment,  these distractions just add to the already-present anxiety. So put your phone in a desk drawer or rest it face down on your desk so that your attention is not disrupted with every notification. Get in the habit of  looking at your phone during designated breaks.

How to Instantly Look More Put Together

On any given day, most of us are running to multiple meetings and appointments. So, you need a work bag large enough to hold everything for the day. If you don’t have a professional bag that holds everything, you end up carrying multiple bags which can make you look sloppy. You may have on a Boss suit and killer pumps but, if you are lugging around a purse, a backpack, a computer bag, your lunch kit, and a grocery bag full of who knows what, you look disheveled and unorganized. Minimize the amount of things you’re carrying and you will immediately look more put together. Find a work bag that holds everything so that you only have one bag. And, stop carrying around things you don’t need.

These work bags are my favorite:

  1. Tory Burch
  2. Madewell
  3. Banana Republic
  4. Target
  5. Gucci

 

The BCC Line: When To Use It, When To Avoid It.

We all have that one petty coworker who swears by the BCC line because it helps her spread office gossip. Maybe that person is you. Either way, most people who regularly use the BCC line have ill intentions. But, the BCC line can, and should, be used to be productive, not devious.

Here’s when you should use the BCC line:

When you want to include people on a thread who may not want their email addresses disclosed. Maybe you’re emailing a large group of people about a work event or you’re emailing your entire client list about a new product. So, to protect everyone’s privacy, you should put their email addresses in the BCC line. This way, no email addresses are visible and you avoid having to send a bunch of separate emails.

Here’s when you should not use the BCC line:

If you’re using the BCC line to disclose something you shouldn’t or spread drama then you’re entering dangerous territory. The contents of the BCC line can be easily uncovered if the right tech savvy person cares to look. So, don’t embarrass yourself or lose your job because you felt petty one afternoon and recklessly used the BCC line. Also, remember that the recipient of your email may not realize she is in the BCC line and might hit “reply all.” Don’t risk it.

What You Need To Know Before You Shatter The Glass Ceiling

You’ve spent years working towards your career goals: sacrificing social events, missing precious time with your children, and working during family vacations. But, after years of hard work you are finally promoted to your dream job—Vice President of your company. You shattered the glass ceiling because you are the first woman in the history of the company to hold this position. There are marketing announcements and congratulatory emails. But, you notice that some of your friends and colleagues fail to utter a word. You assume it is because they are busy and remind yourself that everything isn’t about you; but, what you may be experiencing is the aftermath of shattering the glass ceiling.

When you shatter the glass ceiling, shards of glass will undoubtedly fall—painfully stabbing you on the way down. Those shards of glass are people who are envious of your success; coworkers who feel like they should have gotten the promotion over you; and, people who assume you got your promotion because of luck. The shards of glass are also the growing pains of accepting a promotion because you have to learn a new role, manage a new team, and accept a more demanding schedule. Either way, when you do something so bold as to shatter the glass ceiling you have to be prepared for the unavoidable sharp shards that will follow.

Are You Working Hard Enough?

We all think that we work a lot. And, we all think that we are the most exhausted person in the room. But, chances are, we are not working hard enough to achieve our goals.

If you’re one of those women who wants to advance your career and level up (i.e., get to the next stage of your career) then you can’t just work, you have to work hard. Just like working out in the gym, career advancement requires that you kick it up a notch.

For example: if you begin a new workout program with the hopes of seeing results, most personal trainers will tell you that you have to push yourself. You can’t take leisurely walks on the treadmill and eat Oreos for dinner and expect to lose 20lbs. Instead, you have to say goodbye to the junk food, pick up the pace in the gym, work up a sweat, and be slightly uncomfortable and out of breath—because if you’re comfortable holding a conversation while working out then you aren’t working hard enough. Plus, getting results requires that you work up a sweat more than once; it requires a continuous and consistent intensity. Only after repeat sweat sessions in the gym and discipline in the kitchen do you see results.

The same is true in your career.

Think of the kitchen as your place of employment. You need to eliminate the junk. Don’t get caught up in the office gossip and things that don’t advance your career. Rather, focus on working hard on things that help feed your career. Give your work assignments an extra proof read, stay late to get one more task done, and remain focused.

Now, think of your gym sessions as what you need to do in your free time to get to the next level. Sure, you may be logging in on the weekends here and there to do some work; but, would that work be classified as a “leisurely walk”? Because if so, you need to go harder. Just like you have to push yourself in the gym, you have to push yourself when choosing to work another hour versus choosing to lay on the couch and scroll through Instagram. Yes, you will be tired, but aren’t you also tired after an hour in the gym? You have to push yourself and get to that slightly uncomfortable zone to see results.

It’s simple, in order to level up you have to work harder.