How many of us work in chaos? How many of us think we do not have enough hours in the day to do our job?

At certain points in time all of us!

Take a moment to think about a situation when you have been out of control at work: everyone wants a piece of you and you just don’t know where to turn….you have so many things you need to do and so little time to do it…

How do you feel when you think about that situation?

I am guessing not great – you may feel that tightness in your shoulders; you relate back to long work days, feeling frenzied, stressed, jumping between reactive tasks, you stop appreciating what you are actually achieving, maybe taking it out on your partner or friends without realising it outside work…

Sound familiar?

This is your ‘emotional barometer’ and when you are in this state of chaos this will be running red.

But how productive are you during these chaotic times?

You may think that because you are flat out like a lizard drinking that you must be doing a great job and getting things done… but are you?

Well, when we are in the ‘red zone’, we need to be aware that our productivity and our ability to think critically is at risk. Although busy, you are not productive.

If we are more aware of what our thoughts, behaviours and emotions look like when we are under pressure and feeling highly busy – we are more able to regulate them and help ourselves move into a healthier zone.

Check out the following graph to get an idea of where you should be sitting for Optimal Performance:

So what do you do to move from chaos to productive?

Here are my tips:

  1. Know your emotional barometer! Know the signs of when you are entering into a state of chaos.
  2. Plan – sounds simple but look forward and plan ahead to avoid chaos in the first place
  3. Prioritise – if chaos is upon you, take the time out to prioritise – this is in turn will help with planning.
  4. Delegate – learn to delegate and push tasks to others
  5. Learn to say no – this is hard but learn this art and you will be more productive
  6. Stick to your goals – concentrate on what really matters for you to hit your individual goals – this will keep your focus on being productive.
  7. Reward yourself – take time out, recharge, refresh


Critically my final tip is learn from your mistakes: continuous improvement is critical so as not to be chaotic or unproductive in the future. Ask your colleagues, your peers as to how you can improve, not just your boss.

I hope this helps to keep you focused. Please let me know if it works or you have any further suggestions as we would be keen to know.

Stay Productive and in control!

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