Having excellent time management skills requires a feeling of control. As soon as the feeling of control goes away, your stress level increases and you become far less productive. That’s why it’s sometimes better to devote time to the task that’s weighing on you the most, even if it isn’t necessarily the most important thing you have to do at the moment.
For example, I had a big presentation coming up that, for whatever reason, was weighing on me. I found that while I was trying to work on more immediate and pressing things, this presentation was all I could think about.
I’d been having extremely productive workdays, but I didn’t feel productive. I may have been accomplishing important things, but the one thing that was stressing me was still looming.
Even though it wasn’t my most pressing deadline, I needed to devote a little time to this presentation or I was going to continue feeling stressed and not in control of my day.
I finally just dedicated a few hours to sketching out ideas. Seeing my thoughts down on paper gave me so much more confidence in my ability to finish this project. Pretty soon, I had a solid outline of what I planned to talk about, and my stress level had significantly decreased.
My presentation was far from finished, but I now felt I had a handle on it and had a clear mind to devote to other more pressing tasks.
Do you have a looming task that is stressing you out? Carve out a little time to get started now, even if the deadline is far away. Otherwise, the pressure of this impending task will just continue to build and start to interfere with your ability to focus on other things. The best way to remove the stressful weight of a task from your shoulders is to just do it.
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