There are times in either my work or personal life that I am just flat out overwhelmed. I have so many things to do or accomplish, and I feel behind. I want to differentiate “overwhelmed” from the day-to-day need to get tasks done. Personally and professionally, there will always be things that need to be accomplished and checked off. The specific scenario that I want to provide a solution for is the, hopefully, rather rare feeling of not being able to wrap your head around the things that you have to do much less actually begin to get them done. It’s the feeling of not being able to even get started because the task of listing and organizing the things you need to do seems too much. Not being able to fall asleep at night because you dread waking to another day feeling overwhelmed.
WE CAN HELP.
Spencer “patented” and I quickly adopted the “24 Hour Grind” strategy. It’s a simple idea. Basically, you set aside one morning or night where you either get up at 2:00 am or continue working until midnight or later. Usually, you are sleeping for a majority of the hours you are using to get things done so it is “extra time.” Other people are not awake or not still awake so your productivity is less likely to be interrupted. And you are tricking yourself into one marathon session of getting things done – telling yourself that you can rest up and feel accomplished after just one crazy morning/night. Here are the rules:
- Cater to your preference. If you are a morning person, get up early. If you are a night owl, stay up late. It’s hard enough to get things done for hours on end – don’t complicate things by choosing the wrong time of day for you personally.
- Make a list first. If you are planning on getting up at 2:00 am or 3:00 am on Tuesday morning, have your list completed Monday night before you go to bed. Having your list completed helps you to get going and ensures that you not only know what you need to accomplish but also the specific steps it will take to get it done. Plus, you can hit the ground running when you wake up.
- You can do anything for one morning/night. To increase your productivity, you don’t need to be up at 3:00 am every morning or stay at work every night until midnight. YOU JUST NEED ONE 24 HOUR GRIND. It’s easy to trick yourself into one marathon morning or night of work. It’s a strategy that only needs to be brought out a few times a year.
- Don’t stop until you are done. The point of waking up early in the morning is not to get three things done and then go back to sleep at 5:00 am. You have your list (see rule #2). DO NOT STOP until you are done with everything on your list. I promise once you have used this strategy you will know what it feels like on the “other side”- which is worth every minute of lost sleep.
- JUST DO IT. Wake up or get comfortable. Get your coffee/tea/water. Turn on some tunes. Start with something smaller or quicker on your list and get going!
Likely, after you wake up at 3:00 am or stay after work, just setting aside the time will make you feel better about all the things that you have to accomplish. I have found that once I get my list together and start knocking out tasks, it never ends up taking as long to complete everything as I thought it would.
Just remember, if you get up at 3:00 am or are up until 1:00 am, there is a really good chance the Rock (or someone else you admire) is up at the same time getting stuff done!!
Try it out and let us know what you think!