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Simple Steps on Handling Tasks

Simple Steps on Handling Tasks

Fast handling of things has been the talk of the various categories of the work force for years and years. The basis of fast handling of tasks is time and mind management. It really boils down to these 2 major resources that we all have but tend to over (or under) use. The technique we will discuss here is how manage your time against your mind’s concentration in 5 simple steps:

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  1. Draw a To-Do list with your tasks numbered in priority, importance, and scheduled dates and times of completion. Once a thing comes up (and mind you, “comes up” means “once it appears in the queue of things you have to do”, and not when it explodes as a problem!): When something comes up, there are a few simple steps you should follow in order to maintain rhythm with all your other things.
  2. Assess the importance of the new task (against all others in your list). In other words, you must evaluate whether or not this new task:
    • Is more urging than others on the list
    • Has more potential damage/harm if not done/handled before a specific time.
    • Dependant on other tasks on the list? If other dependant tasks are not on the list and they’re your responsibility, then add them; otherwise, add a task to follow up on whoever has to take care of the dependant tasks to yours.
  3. Insert the new task (and their dependencies or follow-ups on dependencies) into their correct (or most appropriate) priority order on your To-Do list.
  4. Periodically Examine/Review your To-Do list. This is a must do issue every pre-set period of time proportional to the average length of tasks. For instance if your tasks are days and weeks long, then your review should be conducted every other day or every day. On the other hand, the review should be done every 2-3 hours if the tasks are within the minutes or hours (maximum 1 day) range.
    Be careful not to overwhelm yourself with review sessions and finally waste your time. During the review session, examine which tasks have ended on time, which tasks are running late and which tasks seem to have problems in them. Whilst reviewing, re-arrange your priorities or resources accordingly to manage the lag in some projects/tasks (e.g. you might call in someone for help on something) or you may delay some other tasks to handle more urging ones. Such important decisions are a must make and take in order to constantly maintain order in your To-Do list and hence the system of your day and life.
  5. For tasks of priority 1 (and high concentration), do not perform multi-tasking.
    This is an issue that one must handle as he/she goes along. For top priority tasks that need 100% of your concentration, like writing a business proposal or talking to your manager, DO NOT multi-task. Multitasking will not only immensely delay your schedule but will result in the original task taking ages and not getting done in half the quality it could have been done in.

    For other less important (but still on the list) tasks, you might as well multi-task. For instance, you have to prepare lunch and listen to the news. Then do both at the same time! Switch on the television in the kitchen and prepare lunch. Wherever there are timers on steps in the food preparation process, DO put them on and switch on their alarms – so those will alert you in case you were slightly distracted watching TV.

Following the five simple steps will not only make you get your things done, but also you’ll have the time to spend on yourself and for relaxation purposes rather than always running out of time. You know what? You might as well add the time you need to relax on your list, so you can work towards fulfilling it as well.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut only to get back into another one.

How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

  • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
  • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
  • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
  • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnancy in life, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help.

Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

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1. Realize You’re Not Alone

Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths.

Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

2. Find What Inspires You

Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation.

What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem.

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If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

3. Give Yourself a Break

When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave.

Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future.

These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

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4. Shake up Your Routines

Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’re 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

5. Start with a Small Step

Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward.

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Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years.

On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

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Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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