How to Work Through Challenges + Get More Done

Paula Rizzo (author of Listful Living) talks planning and organizing your work environment to optimize productivity.


BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.


Can you imagine a day where you checked off everything on your to-do list without any problems or interruptions? Wouldn’t that be a nice change?

Truthfully, those days are quite rare. When we hit a roadblock, it’s important to remember it happens to us all. 

In fact, problems are a normal part of the process. It’s all about how you deal with them. 

Many people are facing work-related challenges related to WFH or hybrid work, whether that’s setting up a home office that actually works for you or establishing healthy work-life boundaries.


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Now is the time to develop sustainable habits for working through challenges. 

Here are a few of the more common hang ups and how to move past them:


Do you ignore a problem when it arises? 

Me too! I’m naturally a procrastinator, so I’m inclined to tell myself “It’s nothing!” or “I’ll have time to address it down the road.” Especially if it’s a large task, or something I don’t want to do. Since I know these are my usual ways of ignoring a problem, I can recognize them and deal with them.

Make sure to pay attention to your own personal ‘tells’ so you can stop bad habits before they happen. If you are in denial, try writing a list of all the things you need to do to complete that day. You might surprise yourself and find that it’s easier than you think.

Giving Up

Imagine you’re reorganizing some part of your life — let’s say you’ve introduced a new system or started using a new app. Some people will give up and act defeated the second it doesn’t work exactly as planned. Others double down and insist on trying to make a broken system work. But there’s no need to do either!

If something is not working for you, it’s okay to give up, as long as you try something new. It may take a few attempts until you find the thing that works for you. Give a new system or app at least two weeks though before ditching it.


Once I’ve recognized an issue, it’s easy to get frustrated and want to give up.

It’s why I use the Pomodoro Technique and take a 5 minute break for every 20 minutes (or 15 minutes) of work. It stops me from getting bogged down by my workload and getting irritated over big tasks.


There are some of those projects that can feel like they are too much to handle, and I’m all alone with them. Like when I wrote my book Listful Thinking — it was extremely isolating. In fact, we’ve all probably felt some sense of isolation over the past year.

But there are always friends and coworkers with a fresh perspective to tap. It’s easy enough to shoot them a quick email asking for advice or for some accountability. Friends are great for a quick confidence boost or thinking up new ideas. So if you’re cleaning out your closet or bookshelf, call in a friend to help — as long as you reciprocate when they need help!


Hooray! After you finally address a problem head on, you’re done! Once you finish a task, take a moment to relax before moving onto the next one. You could even treat yourself to a cup of tea!

Like anything new, getting more organized can be a frustrating experience if you don’t know what it’s supposed to look like. Remember that it’s okay to be frustrated as long as you have a plan to work through it.

How do you work through challenges?


BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.


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Listful Living by Paula Rizzo

Listful Living

A List-Making Journey to a Less Stressed You

A best-selling author and Emmy-award winning television producer for nearly 20 years, Paula Rizzo produced health, wellness, and lifestyle segments with a range of top experts, including JJ Virgin, Jillian Michaels, and Deepak Chopra. Rizzo brings her experience to this new project. Readers will learn their stress style and strategies for shaping their days in more productive ways. With self-assessments and exercises, this guide will bring readers to better patterns and better, more organized lives.

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