Fighting fatigue with prioritising tasks. Click through to read.

Are you feeling worn out and fatigued, like you're in a constant state of tiredness that you can't seem to shake out of? Are you engaged in a constant battle with your to-do-list, without ever feeling like you're making any headway? I can definitely relate at the moment, as I myself am going through some big changes, and finding it challenging to stay motivated keeping up with all the details of life and business. At times like these, I find that being very pragmatic with priorities helps a great deal. With every task, I'd urge you to go through the following list of questions and see what fits:

Does this need to be done today?

If it's not urgent, and if it doesn't advance other urgent tasks, it probably doesn't need to get done today.

Does this need to be done at all?

Is it something you feel like you ought to do to help someone else? It's ok to say no, especially when you have too much on your plate. Or is it something you've gotten into a habit of doing, but doesn't actually contribute to either progress of urgent tasks, or your own well-being? If so, it's probably something you shouldn't be doing with your time right now.

Can someone else do this?

There's a way to delegate many routine things, especially small monotonous tasks that don't necessarily need your personal attention. When we talk about outsourcing most people think of business tasks such as photo editing or admin work, but it can be surprisingly cost-effective to get someone to clean your house every couple of weeks, or to do your ironing or gardening. Delegating routine households tasks can free up a lot of time and help with the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Can this be broken into smaller tasks?

If the task feels completely overwhelming, perhaps there's a way to break it into smaller more manageable pieces. Plan a piece for every day of the week, and it might feel less intimidating to get going and finish even the scariest task by the end of week.

Can someone help with parts of the task?

If you do manage to break the task into pieces, perhaps you could delegate some of the parts to someone else, while you handle the parts that need your personal input.

Is it faster to do this now?

Sometimes fatigue builds the more we push a task forward. If it's something that will take less than 5 minutes to do, try to do it instantly, as pushing it forward will make your time commitment, and overwhelm while thinking about it, much greater.

Can this be done somewhere else?

Could you go write that article in the garden, or answer your emails in a coffee shop? A change of environment can do wonders when you are feeling worn out.

Can this be done differently?

Try to see if you can think of a different, preferably more fun, way to tackle your task. Use colourful pens and stickers, or time your tasks to a soundtrack, anything that breaks you away from the feeling of drudgery.

Plan for fun activities

Another tricky thing about feeling fatigued is that at a time when you find it hard enough to get through your work tasks, everything else, the things you do for fun, goes out the window. It's super important to plan time for those things you like to do outside of work, as those are the things that will fight your fatigue hardest. Even if it feels difficult, try to socialise with friends and get back to your hobbies. Set yourself small goals, such as phoning or texting one friend every day, and build up to the things you really want to do, such as attending a salsa class with your mates. Small, specific goals will be a lot more manageable than vague ambitious ones.

I hope these tips might in some small way help you to feel less overwhelmed. Remember, fatigue is temporary, this too shall pass, so remember to be kind to yourself!


Author: Marianne Taylor

Her Lovely Heart founder Marianne Taylor is a photographer, an educator, and a lover of colour & light. Her work has been published in blogs and magazines the world over and her personal photography has been part of an exhibition at Tate Britain. To work with Marianne, see the mentoring services she offers. Or, if you like the photography on HLH, you might want to check out her Product & Lifestyle photography services to see whether you could work together to help your brand grow. She is also slightly obsessed with her two cats, Astrid & Sofia, and loves Instagram.

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