As the list gets longer, my anxiety grows stronger.
It’s not the first time it has happened, and it won’t be the last.
How did it gets so big it becomes more and more unmanageable?
Many of the tasks on my to-do list are actually really easy to do.
– Sign up for a run
– Renew my passport
– Trim my eyebrows
– Making peanut butter bar
– Reorganising the bookshelves
I’m reminded of the phase I used to remind myself: “if something can be done in two minutes, do it immediately.”
That’s it. Why push anything back when it can be done right now? By pushing it to a later date, we are not only adding mental workload for our brain, it actually creates unnecessary stress for ourselves.
An incomplete task will continue to linger in our subconsciousness. Unless we strike it off the list, the mind will always remind us of this pending activity. And the longer this go on, the less likely we will complete it. That’s how procrastination happens. That’s how a simple tasks turn from two minutes to two days to two weeks and eventually never get done.
I realise the crucial element holding me back is there are too many tasks to be completed. It overwhelms me. It’s like going to a supermarket and be confronted by so many choices. Shoppers gets tensed and end up buying nothing. The same happens here. There are so many things to do and I didn’t know where to start.
Prioritising the tasks become the starting point. I wrote down the tasks on paper, evaluate them, and choose only three most important activities to be completed the following day.
I did this the night before so comes tomorrow, I already know what to do. Ideally, I rank the tasks from the easiest to the more challenging ones. This way, once I knock one task from the list, the momentum will carry me to the next task. It’s also one way to celebrate small wins and see actual progress being made.
My three most important tasks for the day are:
1) Apply for one job
2) Call to make hair appointment
3) Write 100 words
I’ve done all these and felt good. I intentionally set a low target just to get started. I didn’t apply for just one job, I did two. I’m into 400 words for this post already.
Things often exceed our expectation if we just get started.
I don’t need fancy management app to help me manage them. The act of writing three tasks down on paper puts me in control. As I write, I mentally prepare myself for these tasks. If I type, I felt detached from the tasks. It’s like putting pixels into the screen. A lack of mental connection.
Coming towards the end of this post, my anxiety subsided tremendously. Looking at the list, I remind myself of a great quite on getting things done: “If it’s something on the list, do it. If it’s not, then do something on the list.”