A clever mindfulness practice to do when tasks are piling up (and so is overwhelm)

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by daily tasks, especially when we keep putting them off, and therefore, they keep piling up.  However, there are mindfulness tools we can use to keep us present and productive. One of my favorite strategies is to notice when I’m feeling overwhelmed by ‘tasks’ and to ask myself a simple, […]

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It’s easy to become overwhelmed by daily tasks, especially when we keep putting them off, and therefore, they keep piling up. 

However, there are mindfulness tools we can use to keep us present and productive. One of my favorite strategies is to notice when I’m feeling overwhelmed by ‘tasks’ and to ask myself a simple, yet clarifying and activating question:

What is something I’ve been putting off, that if I did it would likely take no more than 20-minutes to complete? 

Pro Tip: this could be something small that is completed entirely in 20-minutes or it could be a ‘version 1.0’ of a bigger project/task (this is called ‘chunking down’ in NLP and is a practice in emotional intelligence). 

Recently, this question was asked of me and fifteen others in a mastermind I’m involved with. The interesting thing was that every single one of us had something to share. 

People responded with things such as:

Outline my article pitch 

Clean my desk off

Format my blogpost

Respond to a particular email 

Pay a parking ticket online 

Open a business credit card

Call my mechanic to schedule an oil change

After we all shared, the facilitator said, “great, I’m setting a timer for 20-minutes and we’re all completing this now.” 

Every single one of us completed our task and many shared how relieved they felt that it was done. The beautiful thing about relief is that it opens the doorway for more creativity, insight, and courage to flow. Therefore, posing this question and then taking action is more than just getting ‘that thing’ done…it’s about your capacity and ability to be present. 

So now for a challenge!  Answer that question yourself, then set a timer for 20-minutes and complete it. If you dare to take this experiment on, comment below, and let me know what you completed. 

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