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Katharine Zaleski's Blog

Productivity Planning When You Know You're Overwhelmed

Last Saturday night I had a nightmare. I went to LA for a business trip and I spent hours trying to find my ticket home only to realize that I had never booked it. I woke up in a cold sweat. Once I collected myself - with the help of copious amounts of coffee - I made a triage list to get me through the week.

I've written in this blog before about my productivity methods and the personality tests I took to understand what I needed. I use a journal called the "Productivity Planner" and I time my work in Pomodoro intervals. My goal is to break everything down into simple tasks. Last week, I stopped doing that and not only did I have a much lower productivity rate, but my subconscious started to get overwhelmed.

So my advice to anyone who is feeling overwhelmed is simple: break everything down into tasks and set a Pomodoro timer. Then wait to see if you have dreams about whether you bought your tickets home - you won't have them, at least not as often.

The Productivity Planner I recommend


Katharine Zaleski's Blog

How I Write - It Starts With A Timer That Looks Like A Tomato

I broke my pledge to blog everyday - I didn't post yesterday. I blame technology, but there were a million excuses why I couldn't sit down and take the time to write. The truth is I probably could have found one thirty minute window if I had focused on making the time. So today I'm going to expand quickly on how I can actually make time to write.

On Monday, I shared a few of the methods I use to get into the "flow" for work (btw I still have to read the book "Flow". My husband said it helped him a lot.

Of all the techniques I use to concentrate, I'd rate the Pomodoro Method as the most effective. I found a graphic on Instagram that breaks it down. The key is to track your time. I use a Chrome extension called Marinara: Pomodoro Assistant that I click on every time I need to focus. Once the timer is on I have to flip over my phone, put my Slack on "Away" and make sure I don't check my emails.


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