The feeling of having unfinished tasks made me anxious.
I’d feel swarmed by them, and they often paralyse me momentarily. These occurrences are getting more frequent year by year.
Instead of processing them in my mind, I find that writing them down on paper helps tremendously. Not only I get them off my head, the process of writing is a deliberate action that separates the essential tasks against those less-important-yet-niggling things.
Once I get them down, the list of what’s needed to be done becomes clearer. And here’s also where my struggles surface. With so many tasks that need my attention right now – all of equal importance – what should I do? Do a few tasks at once and the quality of work suffers. No matter what the job description states, multitasking is for computers, not humans.
I’ve tried several approach in the past like dividing my time between the tasks. Upload a category of the products here, brainstorm something over there, draft a press release, and then going back to upload the products. It seems like I’m making progress on multiple things concurrently but in actual fact, none of the progress are anything significant. They are superficial in the sense that I can go to my boss and say, hey, I’m working all 3 things at once and I’m making ground. Given a choice, I’d rather spend all my energy working on just one task, give it my best shot, and then move on.
The problem is having an environment and boss that respects this approach. I understand not everyone has this privilege. Some jobs really do require you to be all over the place and manage multiple projects at once.
I’m saying if deep, meaningful and good work is to be done, sufficient time and space must be allocated to them.