Here’s What You Need To Do If You End Every Day Feeling Behind

Anthony Roberts

Nobody likes to feel behind or like they didn’t accomplish anything at the end of the day.  It can be depressing and doesn’t set the stage well for the beginning of the next day.  This can be a bad cycle that just seems like it snowballs and you’ll never get caught up with anything and just keep falling behind.

Here are some tips to break the cycle and start feeling more accomplished every day.

This isn’t an overnight process and will take some time, but changing your outlook and making a few adjustments can make a world of difference.

Make a list
If you’ve never been a list maker, this is a great place to start.  Sit down and make a list of what you want to accomplish the next day and try to keep it realistic.  You don’t want to include 20 hours worth of work in an 8 hour day, but try to include things you know you can manage.

Don’t feel like you have to complete your whole list either.  The important thing to start with is making the list so you have goals in front of you.

Even if you don’t get to everything, you can adjust the list and you’ll also be able to see what you did get done that day.  Crossing things off a list that you’ve completed is will begin to change your outlook and give you more of a sense of accomplishment.  Doing this also helps you break down what you need to do rather than just thinking about everything all at once.

You can also begin making a larger list of more long term goals that you’ve wanted to get to and when you want to have them completed.  These don’t have to be large projects either.  Maybe you just want to clean up your email or organize your office.

These are things that you can begin carving out time for once you have them written down and put deadlines to them.

Making lists will also help you prioritize.  When you are looking at the tasks, you can see which ones are more important and need done first.

Eliminate distractions
A major reason people aren’t as productive as they want to be is due to being distracted easily.  Think about how often you check your phone, or even your work email.  Maybe you allow yourself to get sucked into conversations with co-workers to often.

Look at some of the things you do during the day and see where you can cut out some of the unnecessary distractions.

Try putting your phone away where you can’t easily reach it for an hour or so, or block off a time to answer emails only instead of constantly checking and replying right away if it isn’t urgent.

If you can, put up a do not disturb sign set your instant messenger to show busy to avoid interruptions.  Talk to your manager or supervisor if you need help with these types of accommodations.

Managers are typically very glad to help with these types of requests if they are reasonable in order to help you focus on projects or tasks when needed.

Use your time wisely
In addition to having a list, make sure to look at when the best times are for certain tasks.  If you feel you are sharpest first thing in the morning, look at some of the more involved things that require more focus.

Maybe you wind down a little during certain points of the day and know that’s the best time to do lighter tasks that still need done but don’t require as much involvement.  When to do things is just as important and what to do and how to do them.

Think about what you did do
Feeling behind results from only thinking about what you didn’t do rather than the things that you did get done.  Now that you’ve made your list, you have the ability to look right at it and see what you did do with your day.

The To-Do List is an ongoing thing that will never be completely empty, so keep that in mind.

The important thing is to recognize what you completed that day, because that will help you start fresh the next day.

Revisit and revise
As you continue to work with your list and to look at eliminating distractions around you, make sure to adjust things as needed.  Maybe you realize that you could use a little extra do not disturb time, or you might not need as much as you thought.

Your list may also need updated as your realize certain things aren’t as high of a priority anymore, or you are just getting them done more efficiently and can add a little more.  Getting things set up and just keeping them that way won’t solve the issue permanently.

You’ll eventually need to adjust things based on what else you may take on at work or if something is taken off of your plate.

Keeping your goals and tasks organized and updated will definitely help you realize how much you ARE getting accomplished and make it easier to think less about things that still need done.

Tomorrow will still happen, but being happy about what you did today will make it more approachable.

About The Author

Anthony Roberts

Anthony is a freelance career coach with a combined 14 years of experience in management, recruiting, and career coaching. Along with a degree in Communications, he has expertise in resume and cover letter development, professional interview skills and etiquette, as well as job search and networking assistance. His passion is helping others appropriately convey what they can offer a potential employer to make them stand out.

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