Are you looking for ways to make the most of your limited time, especially as an overwhelmed overthinker? If so, I’ve got you! In this blog post, we’ll be discussing 10 productive things to do in an hour.
We’ll start by defining productivity and then I’ll share a list of productive tasks, each of which you can do in an hour or less.
Finally, we’ll wrap up by discussing some productivity tips for overwhelmed overthinkers. These tips will make you feel better about your capabilities and productivity so you can make progress on your goal-setting and achieving…
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What Is Productivity?
So, what is productivity? Technically, it’s a measure of how efficiently resources are used to generate output. In other words, how much work is being done relative to the time and effort being put in.
When we’re talking about productivity in terms of time management, we’re usually talking about how to get more done in less time.
Here’s the thing about productivity — it looks and feels different for everyone. Some of us are just plain slower than others at getting stuff done. And that’s absolutely okay!
So, let’s remove the part of the ‘productivity’ equation that doesn’t serve us… stop trying to do all.the.things AND get them all done in less time.
While many people might look at this list and think each thing should take significantly less than an hour, I *know* these things take extra time for overwhelmed overthinkers.
Ready? Here you go…
Productive Things To Do In An Hour
You have the power to do great things in just one hour! Just because you’re easily distracted and slow to finish many tasks doesn’t mean you can’t be productive! There are plenty of things you can do in just one hour that will help you make the most of your day.
This is a simple list of 10 productive things to do in an hour. I’m confident you can choose and complete one of these EVEN IF you’re an overwhelmed overthinker. And hopefully, they will inspire you to make your own list of one-hour tasks that will make a big difference in your life.
Whether you have an extra hour to spare, or just one hour to get ANYTHING done and need to choose one thing to do, here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Fold all the laundry
Getting the laundry washed and dried is usually a challenge enough. Getting it folded can feel impossible for many of us. Imagine how you’ll feel if it were all finished!
Also, I rarely believe multi-tasking is a good idea, but in this case I would say you could probably also listen to a podcast or watch your favorite tv show or motivational videos.
2. Make the phone calls you’ve been avoiding
I know, I know, talking on the phone is one of those uncomfortable things we often avoid. Make a list and write out a script or notes for each one if you have to, but stop putting off those phone calls.
3. Clean your cluttered house
Yes, you can do a ‘good enough’ job in an hour. It really doesn’t matter whether or not it’s perfect! For tips, check out my post about how to clean a cluttered house fast.
4. Pay bills or do other financial paperwork
I’m all for automating budgeting and bill-paying as much as possible, but you still need to keep your finger on the pulse so things don’t go off the rails.
Sit down for an hour and make sure everything is in order. Review your credit or debit expenses, project a budget for the next few months, and get comfortable with dealing with your money.
5. Tidy up your email inbox
Write replies, delete old emails, and unsubscribe from what you no longer wish to receive. You might be surprised at what you find!
Also, don’t forget to quickly double-check your spam and promotions folders. Sometimes important emails get misdirected.
Email in good shape? Try decluttering your cell phone!
6. Declutter an entire room
If you’re so overwhelmed that decluttering is the last thing on your mind, then this might seem impossible. It’s not, especially once you DECIDE to do it!
Try my one-hour S.P.R.I.N.T. decluttering and start enjoying a more comfortable home sooner than you expected.
7. Complete two Pomodoro sessions of goal work
The Pomodoro Technique is a great way to break down goal work into manageable chunks. The idea is to set a timer for 25 minutes and work on your goal until the timer goes off. Then take a 5-minute break before starting the next session.
By breaking down your work into smaller sessions, you can stay focused and make progress on your goals without getting overwhelmed. Use your 5-minute break to breathe, get some water, and regroup before diving in again.
8. Plan out your meals for the week ahead
If you’ve been weekly meal planning for a while, you may want to try monthly meal planning. It’s an even more productive use of time. 😉
Already have meal planning covered? Do a meal prepping session. It’s a lot easier to actually make those great meals you’ve planned if some of the ingredients are prepared ahead of time.
9. Work on a project you’ve been procrastinating on
This might mean doing research, or doing some planning, or taking a scary step and making something go live.
You can’t accomplish anything new if you never get started!
10. Take a walk outside and get some fresh air
This may not seem like it has anything to do with productivity, but it definitely does!
We often put off moving our body because we ‘have too much to do.’ But really, that movement is exactly what we need to reset our body and brain cells for doing all.the.things.
If you can’t walk for an entire hour, then be sure to add in a healthy snack. It will help give you the energy to keep going with your day!
There’s no need to feel overwhelmed or like you have to accomplish this list of things in one day. These are ideas of productive things that can EACH be done in an hour, not a list of daily tasks.
Productivity Tips For When You Don’t Have A Lot Of Time To Work
When you’re overwhelmed, it’s easy to feel like you’re stuck in a never-ending cycle of trying to catch up. The good news is that there are a few strategies you can use to make the most of your time, even when you don’t have much of it.
One of the most effective ways to boost your productivity is to focus on quality over quantity.
When you’re trying to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time, it can be tempting to just try to do as much as possible as quickly as possible. However, this often leads to rushed work that is subpar and doesn’t achieve the results you’re hoping for.
Instead of trying to do everything at once, slow down and focus on one main task. Not only will this help you produce better results, but it will also prevent you from feeling rushed and stressed out.
Another helpful tip is to prioritize your tasks.
When you have a lot on your plate, it can be tough to decide where to start. One way to make things easier is to create a list of everything you need to do — also known as a brain dump — and then prioritize the items on the list.
Start with the task that is the most important thing or the most time-sensitive. This will help you stay focused and ensure that you’re working on the best thing.
Also, it’s important to reset your thinking just a little bit and set realistic expectations.
Instead of worrying and getting anxious about what will happen if you don’t finish the task you’ve chosen, think about the fact that you’ve set aside an hour just for that task and you’re just going to get as far as you can.
Sure, many productivity gurus will tell you that you need to cut down the time you allow, work faster, challenge yourself to do more in less time.
They’ll say, ‘Work expands to fill the time available.’
While there is SOME truth to that statement, I firmly believe that for those of us who constantly overthink everything and take forever to get anything done… we absolutely have to learn how to work within our current capacity.
I say, ‘Leave yourself space, give yourself grace.’
If that means taking three times longer to complete a task than SEEMS necessary, then that’s just the way it is. Living in a constant state of anxiety by allowing too-tight deadlines to rule us does nobody any good.
Finally, work confidently.
You’ve already decided what needs to be done. Don’t spend your limited time second-guessing yourself or overthinking your choice. Just. do. the. thing. and don’t feel defeated if time expires before you’re finished.
More Productivity Resources And Motivation
Erin Condren planning notepads – Perfect for planning *just enough* and starting fresh whenever you want instead of being tied to an overwhelming big planner.
The Joy of Missing Out: Live More by Doing Less by Tanya Dalton
The One Focus Method — This book contains expanded versions of my most inspirational posts on goal setting and achieving. It also helps you work on building the motivation to follow through on completing projects in short periods of time.
Leave yourself space, give yourself grace.Julie Hage
So… the next time you find yourself feeling unproductive, remember that it’s never too late to turn things around.
Set aside one hour and use it to work on something from this list of productive things that will make you feel good about yourself and your day.
You’ve got this!
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