3 Productivity Hacks to Overcome Survival Mode

how to overcome survival mode chelsijo

September 5, 2022

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There’s no denying it, sometimes life takes us out of our routine and we lose our bearing on how to get anything done. The good news is we don’t have to stay in a state of clawing our way through each day just trying to find the time we need. We can be intentional AND we can roll with life when the good and bad unexpectedly come our way. Today I am giving you the three productivity hacks I use to overcome survival mode and get back to peak performance. Grab your paper because this is the post that just keeps on giving.

Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast

So the first thing that we’re going to talk about is how do I not live in a space where I’m constantly searching and clawing for time on a regular basis. Because I really am not. I’ve got everything into a kind of routine and rhythm that allows me to know how much time I have. I know what needs to be done to be able to meet all the needs from cleaning, cooking, and school pick-up.

The Foundation to Overcoming Survival Mode With Time Blocks

The crux of all of it is not going to come as a surprise to you but it’s my time blocks. It’s my five block method and it’s the framework for which I build my weeks.

I’ve met with women in every season of life and what I know to be true is that if you were looking to accomplish more with the same amount of time that we all have, you have to use the five block method.
If you’re curious about how to put the five blocks in your life it’s totally downloadable, 100% free. All you have to do is do the workbook. It teaches you how to do it. You can use the Facebook community to get more support on it. It’s literally there and waiting for you.

Time blocking is something that’s been around for a long time, it’s just no one has ever crafted it to work for what you’re doing. Well, I realized that it wasn’t working so I crafted something that works for my life, and lo and behold it works for most women that are trying to succeed in home and business.
That is the basis of what I do over and over again. But, every once in a while I open my planner, and guess what? I can’t uphold those blocks.

I only do my time blocking five days a week. I don’t do that on the weekends because as much as it seems like I love to be structured that structure is good for me five days a week. Then, my brain kicks something a little bit different on the weekend. For a lot of you, you’re probably living in that something a little bit different seven days of the week.

It really depends on what season of life you’re in for how you want this to work and how many days you want to live in your time blocks. Maybe you need it for seven days a week or only four.

But there are times when the family is in town, kids are sick, or you sleep in too late some days. I’m a sleeper and I love to just lay there in the mornings so I need a lot of discipline to get going.

But you know, we try and uphold most of our routines when other people are here and when it’s a holiday or when kids are sick. Most of our routines will pretty much stay the same but that’s different from your framework for your time blocks and that is what’s going to allow you to have so much efficiency in your day week after week after week.

This post is a little more advanced and next-level. You need to have the five block method in place first for these 3 productivity hacks to work. So if you haven’t done that first go get that free download.

Now let’s get to the nitty-gritty of this post. I’m going to break down for you what I do whenever I feel like I’ve lost a bunch of time and am in survival mode because of insert- whatever thing that was out of our control good or bad happened.

Before we dive in let’s go over three key terms.

Key Terms to Overcoming Survival Mode

Peak Performance- This is life when you’re meeting all your fundamental needs, regular responsibilities, and daily routines.

Survival Mode- This is when you’re operating through regular responsibilities but you are taken out of your daily routines. Sometimes survival mode is absolutely necessary, such as when kids are sick or family is staying with you. Survival mode is not always a negative thing. With systems in place, these things are operating but it’s not like peak performance.

Midway Point or the Transition Period- This is the time between going from survival mode back into peak performance.

In order to leave survival mode and go back to peak performance, I have a transition period that lasts for about a week.

My 3 Productivity Hacks to Overcome Survival Mode

I’m giving it to you in 3 super straightforward simple steps. I do these three things to be able to get me back to my peak-performing mode.

Step 1-Prioritize Your Calendar

The first one I do to squeeze more time and get back to peak performance is nail down what’s happening in my calendar. You’re going to sit down and look at your calendar for the week you’ll be in transition. I want you to really look at it with the intention of, “I just had a lot of time off, I wasn’t doing the things I was supposed to be doing because vacation/kids are sick/whatever and what do I need to do to be able to get back to my peak performing states?”

The first thing that I always do is sit down with my Google Calendar for the upcoming week. I’m looking at what can I take off of my calendar? What do I not need to be doing and what appointments can I move?
Realistically a lot of this is preparedness. I’ve just gotten to the point now when I know I’m going to be taking time off that I just don’t put much on my calendar for that transitional week.
But sometimes, I can’t control it like when kids are sick. So I have to sit down and move some appointments or my work commitments. What do I need to move around so I can free up a couple of hours here, a couple of hours there?

That’s the first step, the next is looking at your fundamental needs.

Step 2- Reassess Your Fundamental Needs

Peak Performance means we’re hitting all of our fundamental needs in a week. There are weeks that I don’t hit every single one of my fundamental needs. That is the reality of having a week that is either: A. In survival mode or B. In transition.

So I want you to sit down and I want you to look at all your fundamental needs and say which of these is icing on the cake that I can go one week without? What does that look like for you? Your fundamental needs are probably going to be different than mine. Typically I know which ones I have to keep. Date night will probably get moved from a big date night to Blaine and I are going to watch something together or just have a little chit chat after the kids go to bed.
I can spare a week without working out because I know me, I know if I skip it I’m not going to fall off the bandwagon completely. I want to look at what fundamental needs do I have to not show up for so that next week I can show up to all of them.

Any fundamental need that you don’t do is going to have an impact on the core aspect of your life. That is why that system is so vital. But, once in a while you need to temporarily adjust to get back to peak performance.


Any fundamental need that you don’t do is going to have an impact on the core aspect of your life. That is why that system is so vital. But, once in a while you need to temporarily adjust to get back to peak performance.

If you haven’t done it yet there is a completely FREE download for discovering your fundamental needs. That’s the beauty of having that system in play. But if I know without a shadow of a doubt that we have food in the fridge, I get my cleaning block in, and we have Sunday sit-down in transition week I can hit the ground running next week.

Step 3-Cut Back Workflow

So here’s my third productivity hack to overcome survival mode and to squeeze out extra pockets of time in my days.

The workflow is what I use on a regular basis to be able to make me super productive in my work block. But what I am doing specifically in a transition week is I’m looking at my workflow, and just like my calendar, I’m looking at what can I remove? What can I remove off of my workflow to get caught up, to get myself in a position with my business where when I start next week I can hit the ground running at peak performance?
That is the goal. You have to begin to know your workflow well enough. I want you to get there too.
I go into my workflow and I remove things like file organization. What are the things I have to get done right now? I know I need to show up in my student group to support them. I throw straggling items on the to-do list and make sure that I get that done and label it Monday. I get myself totally flush by the end of Friday so that next week I can jump in and be at peak performance all over again.

Let’s Review – the THREE hacks to overcome survival mode!

Those are my 3 productivity hacks to overcome survival mode.

1. Prioritize Calendar
2. Reassess Fundamental Needs
3. Cut Back Work Flow
That’s what I do. I feel very very confident that if you’re really well versed in your time blocks and have them set up, you know what your routines are supposed to be, you know what your fundamental needs are, and you’ve been chugging along with them, that you can start to use this after you’ve had to go into survival mode to transition back into peak performance.
If you need support with any of those things, you want to know how to build a workflow, you want to be able to be coached on these specific fundamental needs and your life, you want to know what kind of routines should be in your paper planner, should be inside of your time blocks, then hop inside of the Systemize Your Life Academy. It’s so much fun.
I also have free resources for your fundamental needs and for setting up your time blocks. You can also get support inside of our Facebook group which is where I’ll be hanging out. Can’t wait to see you there!
3 productivity hacks to overcome survival mode

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I overcome overwhelm and survive after a busy week!

Through my 5 block time-blocking method and prioritize your fundamental needs you can easily overcome overwhelm and survive what life throws your way! By knowing when the important must-haves of your life need to happen, you are one step closer to overcoming survival mode!

3 ways to overcome survival mode
3 steps to overcome overwhelm as a busy working mom

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