We all want to be happy and successful, right?  Well, yeah… obviously. Trouble is, ‘stuff’ gets in the way. All too often, it’s the little things that take up our time and attention.  They pile up, distract us, and before you know it we’re up to our necks in ‘overwhelm’, with no clue how to dig ourselves out.

Question is, when this kind of *#%! happens, how do we get back on track? There’s no easy answer (it does us no good to pretend there is), BUT… it can be done!

If you ever find yourself in ‘overwhelm’ and need to get on top of things, then we’ve got 10 proven tips to help you. Here’s tips 1-9:
1. Embrace the Hard Stuff:  Okay, you’re going to hate this, but ALWAYS tackle that thing (and there’s always that thing) you really don’t want to do first! Simply by getting your teeth into it, even if it’s something you can’t complete in one go, you’ll not only conquer your fears, but everything else on your plate will suddenly seem a whole lot more manageable!

2. Remove Distractions: Distractions are… aww, you’re such a cute doggie! Hold on! Wait! What???… Distractions are everywhere, and the quality of our work always suffers when we’re side-tracked. And that happens a lot, right? Because, distractions. Facebook, Instagram, texts, emails, YouTube, Twitter, the dog pulling itself like a slug across the carpet… honestly, you’re just the cutest… Hey! Focus! Put those pesky distractions aside. Get on with what you need to do.

3. Don’t Overlook the Small Stuff: Putting out the rubbish, clearing the dishwasher, cutting your toenails… those little tasks, huh? We think we can put them off forever until – ‘Wham!’ – they’re on top of us and we don’t know where to start. Don’t let this happen. Take a deep breath, look around, use the next 5 minutes to sweat the small stuff – Go!

4. Set Aside Time for Work: So obvious, but oh-so-hard, right? It’s amazing how the day can get away on us and our work gets put to one side. To overcome this, we should set aside a period of time – maybe 10 minutes, maybe 30 minutes, maybe even (gulp!) a whole hour – where we do nothing but work . Seriously. Nothing. But. Work.

5. You Don’t Need to Be a Perfetionist Perfectionist: This stops a lot of us. We’re so worried about doing something absolutely just-so that we end up doing nothing at all. Be prepared to forgive yourself (yep, we know it’s hard) if something doesn’t go exactly to plan. Better still, be proud of yourself for having given it a go.

6. Take Time Out: No matter what you’re working on, you can’t stick at it forever. It’s counter-productive. So, every once in a while, treat yourself to a break, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. Meditate. Listen to some tunes. Read a book. Grab a cup of coffee. Breathe… Do whatever it takes to relax, if only for a moment. And then go back to your task. You’ll feel much better and you’ll be more focused.

7. Keep Yourself Motivated: Set yourself goals and make a timeframe in which to achieve them (like finishing this article before getting some lunch because, dude, sooo hungry right now). And reward yourself when you get something done. Alternatively – and serial procrastinators, listen up – you might look to punish yourself in some small way for not getting something done (No lunch??!! It’s too horrible to even contemplate…).

8. Make Yourself Accountable to Others: Be loud. Be proud. Let people know what you’re going to accomplish and the tasks for which you’re responsible. This not only puts your skin in the game, it shares accountability and motivates everyone.

9. Focus On the End Goal: It’s vital you have a big picture goal for yourself or your family (two weeks at a 5-star tropical resort, anyone?). Keep it in mind at all times and keep going for it, even when that niggly little distraction we call ‘life’ gets in the way.

And there you have it, tips 1-9 to help manage the subtle but oh-so-difficult art of actually getting things done. We’ll deal with Tip 10 in Part 2 of our article. Needless to say, it’s important.