I don’t know about you but sometimes life feels like a list of endless To-Do’s.
The thought of having to complete all these tasks can feel overwhelming. It’s a never-ending feeling. It doesn’t surprise me that 37% of Americans (~120million) suffer from anxiety. And that’s just the ones who admit to it.
So the question is, “how can we have our cake and eat it too? In other words, how can we learn how to manage all these tasks, while learning how to enjoy it in the process?
Here’s what has helped me…
Dichotomy of Control
This is a fancy term used in Stoicism which acknowledges the fact that we should only focus on and care about the things under our control. Those being our thoughts, opinions, and actions. Everything beyond that is NOT in our control. And that by attempting to govern the things NOT under our control we only cause ourselves pain in the form of emotional and mental distress (ie anxiety, fear, depression).
Multitasking Doesn’t Work
Don’t get me wrong I love the idea of multitasking. Who doesn’t want to be able to do more than one thing at a time? Efficiency is my middle name. I once proposed taking a crap and eating dinner to save time. Unfortunately, the research is out about the harmful effects of attempted multitasking and eating while you crap.
This couldn’t be more obvious than the texting and driving era epidemic in which we live. Although it makes no sense to wait to text someone until after you’ve arrived at Point B the consequences are deadly…literally. Its reported that 1.6 million car accidents are caused by texting and driving. Among the most detrimental harms of multitasking are a lack of mindfulness. I describe this lack of presence as the attempt to be at two places at once. It just doesn’t work. And it’s this attempt that also causes anxiety, fear, and depression.
Go Old School Paper and Pen
This will be hard for you to believe but I got an MBA off a weekly checklist. I would wake up on a Monday morning and look at all my required assignments for the week. I would spread those tasks out evenly throughout the week. I never tried to be a superhero. I did what was required of me and nothing more. By the end of the week, I was always able to complete all my work. I wasn’t perfect. There’s no such thing. But on average I was consistent. I’ve always said I’m not smart, but I’m consistent.
And so can you!!!
Remember there are only certain things you can control. Multitasking will make you feel like you’re losing control. When in doubt go old school and write shit down. Sometimes you might have to add to that list and somedays you won’t have to do anything. But I’m proof that anything is possible because my dumbass got an MBA doing these three things.