Prioritising what matters
Do you feel pushed and pulled between a hundred priorities, thoughts and projects? It may start as a small frustration but soon you can begin to feel out of balanced and stressed. Take a little time every day to keep yourself focused on what matters and stop distracting thoughts from taking over.
Exercise – Be curious about why you rush around so much
- How much do you concentrate on each individual task? Do you feel rushed, unable to give the attention you need. Or do you sometimes spend too much time, keeping you from other important tasks?
- How does it feel to spread your attention between multiple different projects ? Can you cope, is it energizing or does it make you nervous and on edge?
- Imagine yourself concentrating on one priority at a time. Many find that this way of focusing can reduce stress – would this work for you?
- Acknowledge any challenging thoughts that start to creep up (e.g. “this is not possible”, “my colleagues would interrupt me”, etc.). One at a time, consider how you could challenge each thought either by improving the situation or adjusting your perspective.
- Now make a mental note of a situation that would benefit from your undivided attention. It could be when you are talking or meeting with other people. Think about specific benefits of focusing more during that time, what would you gain and how could this help you in other ways?
Integrating the exercise
If you struggle with so many things during your day and you would like to take action, here some tips:
- Set time aside for unexpected surprises and interruptions in your day
- Identify the tasks that would benefit from your undivided attention. Plan ahead for how you will focus on them, like setting an out of office or turning off your mobile.
- Change scenes! Try finding a quiet space where you can maintain focus.
- Prioritise you!When colleagues, friends or family ask for help, our first instinct is often to say yes. Stop yourself next time and kindly ask the other person if it can wait until tomorrow; also do not be afraid to say no. If people know that you are busy, they might think twice about what they really need and when.
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