Get More Done With Less Stress

by Bamboo Forest

“Smile, breathe and go slowly” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

When you begin something productive, everything else you need to work on in the day starts flooding your brain.


Once your lower self sees you acting productively it will attempt to sabotage your efforts. It knows that by flooding your brain with everything else you need to do, you might become overwhelmed, and then procrastinate.

When the above happens, there’s a method to overcome it beautifully.

Zen Productivity Method

No matter how many things you must do, or how few things you must do: You can only do one thing at a time. This is obvious, but we often forget this wisdom when we’re tackling the day.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The solution to feeling overwhelmed is that when you’re doing something, pretend it’s the only thing in the Universe you have to do. When you’re onto something else pretend that’s the only thing you must do.

While it’s obviously false that there’s only one thing in the universe for you to do in a day, it doesn’t matter. This focus will empower you to act instead of feeling overwhelmed. This method makes you more productive, not less.

I even recommend that while you’re doing a task, experience great joy doing it! It is, after all, the only thing in the Universe you have to do!

Raise your arm right now and scream,

“This is the only thing in the universe I have to do and I feel joy!”

Now if you would please excuse me; I have to write a guest post for a productivity blog. Should be a breeze, it is, after all, the only thing in the Universe I must do.


Bamboo Forest is a professional email life coach and the founder of  Tick Tock Timer

Photo by Nasa Goddard Photo and Video’s photostream

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

The Vizier October 26, 2010 at 9:45 am

Hi Bamboo Forest,

It is always good to learn to get more done with less stress.

Your Zen Productivity Method is great because it reminds us of the need to focus. When we try to do more than one thing at a time, the stress to juggle the various tasks builds up. Not only do we do poorly in all the tasks as a result, we also end up feeling more stress due to our lousy performance.

By focusing on the task at hand as if it were the only thing in the Universe is the perfect solution. As you have pointed out, we can only do one thing at a time. So it makes sense to do every job we do well. In warfare, Napoleon loved to concentrate all his forces on a weak point in the enemy’s defence to defeat them. Similarly, by concentrating all our attention on one task at a time, we will end up getting a lot more done.

Thanks for sharing!


Scott McIntyre October 26, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Hi Bamboo,

Focus… the Holy Grail! 😉

I’m guilty of trying to work on a few tasks at one time. I know this is ridiculous as I end up flitting between lots of mini-activities which obviously wastes time rather than doing as you suggest and devoting all my attention to one thing.

It’s certainly worth experimenting on how best to focus… lack of focus is only bound to get worse for all of us.


Bamboo Forest October 26, 2010 at 6:11 pm

@ The Vizier: Good point that focusing on doing too many things at once leads to a subpar performance. Good analogy with Napolean. I like that.

@ Scott: I think we all struggle with focus. But I also think it’s the key to success!


Shirls October 28, 2010 at 4:42 pm

This is so weird. I tried it and it totally works. I should know better. Who hasn’t heard the advice “When you sit, sit. When you walk, walk…” And yes, it does bring joy in both the doing and the accomplishment.
Thanks, Bamboo Forest!


Bamboo Forest October 28, 2010 at 4:44 pm

@ Shirls: My pleasure. Glad it worked for you.

It can be a challenge using this technique, as it seems a part of us doesn’t want to give up the grip of everything we have to do instead of just focusing on one thing at a time.


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