How to Stay Focused and Get Things Done Without Overwhelm

Haaaaappy Monday + Happy MLK Day + Happy Bachelor Monday + Happy SNOW DAY! So much happy happening on this bright n’ snowy Monday.

I recently asked y’all over on Instastories what sorts of things you wanted to hear slash chat about on the blog, and this was a very specific request. And y’all know me – I lovelovelove specifics.

How to stay focused and get things done, without overwhelm.

A lil’ disclaimer to kick things off: I’m not the best at this.

Quite frankly, I feel like a LOT of times, I’m the multitasking crazy lady with zero focus, getting seemingly nothing done, always feeling overwhelmed.

But I’m getting better.

I’ve been FORCED to get better, and lickity split, once a baby showed up on our doorstep. 😉 Now, my productivity has to happen during naps of unpredictable durations of time, which means I’ve gotta buckle in, hunker down, and get to #werk while keeping my calm. So, without further adieu, I’ve got 5 super specific ways that I get focused + accomplish more with less overwhelm, per your request! (Also sharing this fun look that y’all flipped out about on the ‘gram – it’ll be coming soon in its own post, but had to share ahead of time since I just lovelovelove! 😉 )

How to stay focused and get tasks accomplished without overwhelm - on Coming Up Roses

Leopard print sweater (only $29, plus get an additional 20% off with code Erica01 – exactly the same as this one, just cheaper!) // Blondo booties (LoveloveLOVE these! They’re waterproof! Similar pair here for 50% off.) // Similar flare jeans here for 40% off!


  1. Be alone with your task. I typically falter here, because I’m the Tab Queen. Meaning, on any given day since college, I have *easily* 50 tabs open in various Google Chrome windows. Itchy, I know. I psychoanalyzed back in the day and came to grips with the fact that I treat my Chrome tabs like an ongoing to-do list. I feel more productive when I open things in new tabs, because that means when I CLOSE said tabs, I’ve finished something – a check off the digital list. But of course, that just isn’t the case. I end up multitasking, which just means taking longer to get each thing done because I’m hopping between tasks with ZERO focus, instead of narrowing my sights on one.
  2. Set timers. Where my fellow competitive chicks??? I, for one, am competitive AF. Typically with myself. 😉 So if I can make something into a competition, I’m game. And what’s a good way to feel less overwhelmed in life? Playing games. Games are fun! Games are for kids! So set your sights solely on the task(s) that need completing, and set that timer for the time that the task *should* be getting done within – ya know, if Facebook, emails, the refrigerator, and your iPhone weren’t involved. 😉 I personally lovelovelove this cube timer that I found on Amazon – I keep it on my office desk. You easily set the timer by turning the cube to the time interval you need, and you can see a countdown on the tiny screen; it beeps when done, and you flip the cube back to center to stop + reset. A timer will keep ya focused on beating the clock, and therefore, focused on the task at hand.
  3. Limit your to-do list. Sidenote, I swear this whole list is turning into a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do schpeal. HA. But really, besides being the Tab Queen, I’m also the To-Do Queen. (I wear a lot of crowns, clearly 😉 ). I’m guilty of letting my to-do list run a bit wild, sometimes turning a day’s list into something more reminiscent of a WEEK’S. And then, when I inevitably can’t feasibly finish everything I listed, I get down on myself and feel ALL THE OVERWHELM. Ain’t nobody got time. Literally. 36 hours worth of to-do’s in a 24 hour day is simply impossible. Especially if/when I’ve got 52 things on the list, I’m a.) most definitely flustered, and b.) most definitely not focused, since my mind just jumps from one thing to the next in the hopes of finding a finish line. It’s insanity, yo! Instead, limit your to-do list to 5 things max per day. Even better, time block out your day into 4-5 sections, allocating one task per section. Granted, a task like “empty the dishwasher” obvi doesn’t need a two-hour time block. But if we’re talkin’ bigger things (like emptying an inbox, or organizing your closet), these ain’t no 10-minute tasks. Being realistic about how much time will be required to knock something out will help ya feel better + more in control as you live through the reality of that day’s to-do list.
  4. Write to-do’s AFTER you’ve done them. I had this idea the other day in brainstorming ways to beat my own bad habits (ha!). Since I typically find myself over-filling my daily to-do list, I thought a way to kick that might involve only writing something down once you’re successfully completed it! Of course, this might work two ways. 1.) It works to eliminate overwhelm from staring at a too-full list of to-do’s, and 2.) it proves your productivity (or lackthereof) by the end of the day, when you’re only seeing what you actually DID.
  5. Separate your day into sections: Must Do’s, and Want to Do’s. Not all tasks or to-do’s are created equal! Oftentimes, I find myself starring or circling items on my list, or ordering them in terms of importance, to ensure I definitely accomplish the things that need to be accomplished. This gives some leeway, too, in that IF you finish something earlier than anticipated, and you’ve got time to kill in a time block still, you can shift a “want to do” into the block and get to making it happen.

How do you get focused, get things done, and avoid overwhelm at the same time?

Do you have a method that works for you that I didn’t mention here? Would lovelovelove to hear in a comment below!

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