“When you want to get things done, give it to a busy person”.
I struggle to understand this in the past. Why would busy people get things done when they are already so occupied? Wouldn’t someone less busy do better? Not necessary as I’ve learn from first-hand experience lately.
You see, for the past 9 months I’ve been in new jobs (two, in fact). These roles compresses time and shrink the hours down. I can never have ample time during the day to complete the tasks. When I was making headroom for something, more tasks get added to my ever-expanding list. It’s like a mountain that grows bigger and higher with the lava coming in from all directions.
I was overwhelmed initially. Never before have I felt so out of control. Faced with this situation, I froze momentarily on several occasions. It’s like there are so many things to do – all equally important; where-do-I-start-with kind of thoughts. Of course, some things are more important than others. I’ve to accept the fact that given our limited time, it’s impossible to get everything done, let alone doing them all well in unrealistic time frame.
But what I’ve learned from being really busy is that in order to get things done, I needed to be very efficient and productive. How to maximise my time and which tasks to do from a mountainous list. No more procrastination. A moment or two of overthinking and not acting means I’m going to be behind even further. Be direct and decisive. Move the needle forward.
For emails, I realize that if I don’t reply them in the first few minutes, I tend to never answer them again even though I’ve flagged them. Some emails require more thoughtful reply and answers but for most of them, it’s better to just reply immediately rather than leave it lingering. The cognitive load is forever there unless we process them – in this case – to either reply or trash them away.
I wrote this article in the little pockets of time I’ve after work, when I was flat-out shagged and in need of time alone to unwind. What I found was writing is one of the best way to decompress – the other being running. Writing clarifies thinking and clears out a space in my mind to tackle problems.
So to this, I’m grateful I took the time to write this post here. With grit and the motivation, I’m sure the worries of yesterday and the obstacles of tomorrow can be conquered.
And like the famous words of SEAL: the only easy day is yesterday.