Yesterday I was in a bit of a funk. Went back to sleep after breakfast (literally collapsed) and slept till noon. Then, vegged most of the afternoon.
This means I’m starting today with a backlog of productivity. Stuff I’d planned on doing yesterday and the stuff I’d planned on doing today. (I don’t plan much for week-ends, but I still do, particularly things I should have done during the week and didn’t get around to doing.)
So I find myself in what I call priority paralysis: where do I start? How do I prioritise? This is particularly tricky for me when nothing absolutely needs to get done today. Not enough urgency. And there is a tension between what I want to do and what I feel I should do. And stress because the list of what I’d like to do today is too long for today.
The solution is to pick one and get started. It sounds easy, but in fact there is a great resistance to picking one over the others. What if I’m making the wrong choice? What if I don’t have time for the rest? Will I be happy I picked this thing? Isn’t something else more important, more urgent? What if I spend way more time than I anticipated on this one thing?
That is the kind of background noise that goes through my mind at that moment.
But on another level I know that as soon as I pick one and start doing it, most of the anxiety evaporates. Even if I only manage to do that one thing, I’m out of my funk, and can resume doing things.
It’s a little switch to flip. I just need to free a finger to do it.
- Weekly Planning After the Winter Break [en] (2010)
- More Thoughts on Weekly Planning [en] (2009)
- My Journey Out of Procrastination: Getting Thrown Off and Getting Unstuck [en] (2010)
- Weekly Planning, First Attempt [en] (2009)
- Structured vs. Freeform Work [en] (2011)
- Two Weeks With (Almost) No Planning [en] (2009)
- Greta 2 [en] (2011)
- Finding a Balance in Office Work: Long-Term Projects [en] (2009)
- Weekly Planning: Weekly Routine? [en] (2010)
- Prune Your To-Do Lists, Mercilessly [en] (2010)
Also published on Medium.