It’s hard to be at ease and happy if you’re bogged down with decisions to make, unfinished projects, and uncommitted decisions.
They’re a constant distraction. Dozens of unfinished things begging for your attention.
Everywhere you turn, something is unfinished.
Even when you try to stay in the moment and focus on one thing, all this unfinished business is taking up real estate in your brain.
Tie up those mental loose ends.
Problems that need to be solved, questions that need an answer, projects that need completion, jobs you want to quit, conversations you need to have…
They are all chipping away at your sense of ease, and that translates into irritability, stress, tension and diminished happiness, not to mention a loss of productivity.
Like it or not, all this unfinished business forces us into multi-tasking. These unsettled issues are constantly running in the background.
What happens to your computer or phone when tons of apps and programs are running in the background?
It bogs down.
And like our machines, now we’re bogged down, but life keeps chasing.
Multi-tasking is really multi-failing.
Our human brain works best on one thing at a time. Actually it only works on one thing at a time.
When we think we are multi-tasking, our brains are actually jumping back and forth between the different needs at lightning speed.
That makes us less efficient and stressed out.
Get your happiness and inner peace back by cleaning up the loose ends.
Take an inventory of everything that is unfinished:
Phone calls you need to make, half completed books and courses, decisions that need to be made, projects around the house.
You can make this list in about ten minutes.
Some things can just be culled from the flock.
That book that you put down because it didn’t hold your attention? Just get rid of it. There’s no rule that says you have to finish a book you started.
That pile of junk mail? Ditch it.
That knitting project you started 2 years ago? Give it away.
Maybe you started a repair or maintenance project of some sort but didn’t get it done. Hire it out to someone.
Sure it will cost a bit of money, but it’s well spent if the job gets done.
Can someone else make some of your phone calls? Clean your house? Organize your garage?
Get your family to do more household chores. It’s character building.
That physical you’ve been meaning to schedule? Pick up the phone and schedule it.
Call your mum. 😉
Clean up your messes as you make them.
Change the Damn Toilet Paper Roll (Read about my top 2 productivity hacks to manage time.)
These are the things you can’t do right away, but are still relatively simple.
Things like booking your oil change, cleaning your desk, or taking a friend to lunch.
Pick a date and time and put it in your calendar. Once it’s on the calendar you can put it out of your mind.
“I am definitely going to take a course on time management… just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.” Louis E. Boone
Project manage your bigger things.
Break them down into steps and put the individual steps into you calendar.
“You can trick yourself into doing things by doing it one step at a time and never letting yourself see the overall picture.” Robyn Davidson
Again, once it’s on your calendar, it is out of your head.
I learned the value of booking individual steps on my calendar when I realized over a year had passed and I hadn’t even started making my first simple video:
Working from home, my challenge is keeping myself from bouncing from project to project.
If I’m not careful, whatever seems appealing at the time gets my attention.
If I give into that urge, it’s a cheap high.
I’m left feeling grumpy and tense.
Then at the end of the day I wonder what the heck I actually accomplished.
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Originally published at theascent.pub