Life changes can be both exciting and overwhelming.
Whether it’s a new job, a move to a different city, or any other big change, it’s important to stay organized and productive during this time.
Task management and executive function are two key components of staying on track when life is in transition.
With the right strategies, you can keep your life organized and reduce stress & anxiety while still being productive.
Here we will discuss how task management and executive function can help you stay productive during life changes so that you don't get overwhelmed by the process.
What is executive function?
Executive function is the ability to handle frustration well, start and finish tasks, recall and follow multistep directions, stay on task, self monitor and balance tasks.
EVERYONE lacks in one or more areas by different amounts.
The trick to increase the areas that are lacking is to strengthen that skill.
Write it down.
Write down which area you have to improve on and the think about the steps needed to get there.
Write those down. And then dig deeper and find out how to get each of those done.
Keep going until you have very basic steps.
I need to work on starting and finishing tasks.
What is the first thing I wrote?
"Do a task"
"write a blog"
What do I want to write about? - thought process and AI assistance (seriously, I LOVE rytr.me) - I thought of a section topic (55 characters), thought of keywords (125 characters) and I got the first five sentences.
Where am I going to post this?
My website (I already pay for it)
How do I do this?
I checked to see if there was an add-on for the site and set it up.
Why am I doing this?
To show my thought process that has been proven to work, even when modified to fit others. (It's so basic and is to remember)
Who is this for?
Anyone who gets overwhelmed easily. I see you and empathize. I WAS you, but I had to adapt. I learned, grew and continue to learn and grow.
How am I gonna pull this off? I'm scared of putting myself out there - I have always been the back up - the Career Executive Assistant for 20+ years.
What do I have for my support?
My experience, education, empathy and way with words.
So what do I do?
I just start doing the task, and roll with it.
Leaning into my strong executive function skills, I have faced my fear by just doing the task.
HOW did I do that?
It's hard to explain because I have done it so often for so long. There is actually a term for this in Six Sigma - something that Motorola developed that my dad raised me with that mindset. My dad worked at Motorola since 1989. To read more about my look below.*
The best way I can explain it is asking WHAT, WHY, HOW, WHO, WHERE, WHEN - otherwise know as the Five W's.
So, I just noticed that I haven't answered the WHEN.
Well, when is right now, the present is my preference because otherwise I could forget, not get the urge to do it later or get distracted with another idea.
HOW can task management can help prevent getting too overwhelmed?
By breaking down each task into smaller manageable steps, you focus on just one until it's done before moving on.
And before you now it, the task is done, you didn't get overwhelmed and you feel a sense of peace - life with less stress and anxiety. TAKE THE WIN!
The more often you make this effort for this process, you will start to feel better about your life.
But I have crippling anxiety or ADHD paralysis!? What if I freeze?
Breakdown the step even further until you feel able to do that ONE thing.
You need to clean your room.
Start with picking up the trash.
Too much still?
Start with picking up the food trash.
Keep going until it's done, even if it takes a few days.
Remember, any progress is still progress.
Daily hygiene - sometimes you forget to do something.
I use the childhood song for reference. HEAD SHOULDERS KNEES AND TOES
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes.
And eyes and ears and mouth and nose.
I focus on each area until I complete the task I need to do as part of getting ready each day.
This helps during my depressive states too, to stay productive.
I am planning on releasing a blog post every Thursday - so if you are interested in reading more of my thoughts, steps, and methods, please subscribe here.
*My dad. He passed away in June 2022. He worked as a Project Manager in Engineering for 30 years. He helped a lot of people, and raised me. He was MY business and life coach. So I am still grieving but I am moving forward in life, like he wanted me to, to carry on his legacy by helping others live with less stress and anxiety because he never believed stress or anxiety and he was a happy and peaceful man. Never let a broken rib while camping bother him or the chemo treatments or living with cancer for 5 years until his passing. Just wanted to share a bit about where I come from.