As productivity lovers, we can find it difficult to handle days when we are off our game. We pride ourselves on setting goals and achieving them, maximizing our time, and being efficient. So what happens when we’re not efficient or crushing our goals? We are unhappy gals.
Women are often expected to keep it together, keep it cute, be super productive, and continue to show up for our loved ones. Sometimes we juggle all these things like a pro and sometimes it gets extremely overwhelming.
What makes it worse is how hard it is to ask for help because as a productive person, everybody expects you to always have your s#*t together, right? We hear things like, “You’re probably never late,” or “Your house is probably spotless and never gets dirty.”
Wrong. We have days when nothing goes right no matter how hard we try just like everybody else. And, just like everybody else, we need support during that time.
On the other hand, the conversation also needs to be had about how many of these expectations are self-imposed. For us and many other people, we are our own worst critic and we can be really hard on ourselves. Experiencing all of these feelings that come from having an off day can really get you down.
Don’t worry, it happens to all of us. Here’s what you can do.
How many tasks should you complete each day?
Cris and I like focusing on three tasks each day. It seems manageable and realistic based on everything we have going on.
But everyone is different so some people may feel accomplished after doing three items and others may need to check off five. Or two.
Figure out how many tasks you can get done everyday without getting burned out, stressed out, or freaked out. Since no two days are identical, that number may fluctuate. And that’s okay.
Your tasks should be tailored to you
Your number of tasks might be different from someone else’s, so, just like the woman who attended Cris’ workshop, your top priority might be laundry.
Or it might be the dishes or work-related objectives. What takes up a lot of energy for you may be fun for someone else, like laundry is fun for Cris.
Whatever it is, make sure to concentrate on it when you have the most energy.
This episode contains some colorful words.
Do personal tasks count?
Cooking dinner, washing the dishes, going grocery shopping, cleaning the house, etc. are house chores or tasks for being a human.
But just because these are basic needs doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include these as tasks you’ve completed. They’re going to be in the back of your mind until you take care of them anyway.
You may feel like these things have to be done no matter what, and that’s true but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel accomplished for doing them. Celebrate yourself next time you cross them off your list!
Aiming for excellence, not perfection
Perfection is impossible. So put that notion aside. Instead, aim for excellence. In other words, strive to complete your tasks, but don’t make it a requirement.
You can plan to get three things done in a day and by the end have only accomplished one. That’s okay. Life happens. You should still feel productive for getting one or half of one task done because you’re still making progress.
This is also a great opportunity to reassess your tasks and how tangible they are for you at the moment. Maybe three is too many and you need to start with one task and then add things as your capacity allows. Or maybe you can only do a few small things everyday, that’s fine too.
Remember to give yourself some grace and that this should be tailored to your own needs.
If your plan requires some adjustments, don’t shame yourself because it didn’t work out the first time. Instead, use that as motivation to find a better (more effective) way to do things the next day.
Psst! There’s something else to keep in mind as you strive for excellence. Give each task your undivided attention and focus. That’s right, no multitasking! Aiming for excellence means doing your best. And you can’t give your best if you’re focused on several things at the same time.
Give yourself permission to be perfectly imperfect
Give yourself permission to just be. To not have it together, to only complete one task a day, to add house chores to your to-do list, or to create a Ta-Da list (see Episode 16
to find out what this is).
We always have another day to do things differently so it’s okay to have days where you’re not productive at all sometimes. You can’t be productive every hour of every day so if you’ve never been given permission to be imperfect, we’re giving it to you.
If you need help reminding yourself that you’re doing better than you think, download our free affirmations guide!