Bring a Little Order to Chaos
People. We’re a funny bunch. If we have a few small tasks to get done, we often don’t do them, because they’re so small we can do them—later.
As the tiny tasks accumulate, we do other things; maybe some of the other missions we’re on are really important, maybe not. The day comes when we are forced to face up to everything we haven’t done.
We find ourselves with a mountain of “stuff” to do! Even the tiniest procrastination can cause a rippling effect and then—you end up with a large backlog. Naturally, our stress levels go up.
We might even feel helpless and depressed. We recriminate and blame ourselves for the putting off. While all these emotion based responses are entirely natural, and perfectly normal, they don’t help resolve the problem.
So today I want to offer a solution. It’s simple—some of you may say it’s too simplistic. I think however, it’s at least a start. Here we go.
Do one thing every hour for a number of hours you set. Why yes, that does require discipline, and if you had discipline, you wouldn’t be in the mess in the first place.
Sure, I understand that! However, discipline can be taught, learned, and developed. Do just one thing. Start hacking that giant “to-do” list down. No excuses.
I haven’t mentioned mindfulness yet, but here goes. As you work through your tasks, keep your attention on what you’re doing right now, not on the mountain you have left to accomplish.
When you’re unravelling a knot—whether yarn or computer cables, you focus on the knot in front of you.
The entire line may be filled with knots, and of course, tracking the root of the knot in front of you might require some exploration. Often the same thing holds true of working on a heap of procrastinated tasks.
To do one thing requires doing another first. If you hit a snag like that, find that dependent task and attack it!
Sometimes we get stymied because a task or situation requires information, input, or something else from someone/something, and you don’t have that yet.
In such a situation, move forward. Skip that and come back to it later. Focus on what you can do right now. Even if that’s cleaning a room in your home, you’ll end the day with a clean room.
Doesn’t sound like much. It is however a beginning. You cannot possibly reach the end of any accumulation of tasks without making a beginning.
Use mindful awareness to tackle procrastinated work and ask yourself, “What can I do right now in the immediate moment” and then—go do it!