Only WORRY about What You Can CONTROL, FORGET the REST
Haven’t you had the feeling of overwhelming and stress when you face multiple challenges at the same time and you don’t know which one to tackle first?
If you hesitate the wave will definitely hit you so hard that you won’t be able to get up. Then it won’t be a matter of which task you should prioritize but if you are able or not to get up by yourself or not.
So many people get caught up in this situation and it is a very sad one. The solution, in theory, is quite simple and based in common sense but in practice is another story that even the best of the best in a particular field struggle with.
What can I control?
What you can control is usually something that you can strat working on right now.
If you can’t have immediate impact or action, it means that you shouldn’t stress about it.
You should plan carefully. But not stress about it.
So, in the case you have too many things that you have to manage right now, many tasks that you can execute right now and that you have to, the advice is to break down into the smallests chunks posiible the tasks at hand.
Method to get things done
Tim Ferriss talks about how to come across multiple tasks and prioritizing in an efficient way so you can break them down in their simplest expression so you can deliver at time without stressing out.
The first method is batching. Basicly it’s about grouping all the similar tasks and doing them all at once, and avoid being dispersed.
Here is the video that explains what batching is.
What is out of my control?
Everything that you cannot influence.
Everything that you cannot change even if you take immediate action.
Most of you think you know what is out of your control, but the the truth is that most people usually mistake what they cannot control with what they can control.
What does this mean?
It means that most people if they have to shoot and the day is a rainy one they will stress about it because the scene they had to shoot had to be a sunny day and because of that they will be behind the shooting schedule. This might seem like a very logical reaction but the truth is that it is a completely absurd one.
The most logical way to tackle that problem would be to come up right away, right when you spot the problem, with different logical and practical solutions that fix that delay in the production of the film.
This when a clear mind comes real handy. This is why seeing all the situation from an outside point o view really helps. That’s why meditation is practiced by most of the great performers that Tim Ferriss has interviewed, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, María Sharápova, Tony Robbins or Sir Richard Branson.
How can I not stress about what I cannot control?
Write down all the things that you need to do and set right away the deadlines of each task.
Getting everything on paper liberates the mind from remembering all the things that you need to do and lets you focus on what order needs to be followed to finish everything on time.
Next, you proceed by batching (watch the video on batching above).
When you have divided all that you need to do in chunks of similar tasks you need to prioritize.
The way I do it and seems to work for me is first do everything that you can do right away and that it’s harder. What I mean by this is to first do the tasks that require more time than the other ones, that’s why it falls into the category of the hardest tasks.
This helps me from an early stage to plan methodically and carefully all that has to be done and start doing all of it little by little before the deadeline is too close. Planning is what wins the battle here.
And as a break I take my time to do all the smaller tasks that are easier. This way it is not a lot of work just the day before the deadline (in these cases, most of the time you end up with the project/task merely finished and in poor quality).
So I usually have big tasks that I get into right away because they consume a lot of my time and take breaks of the big ones to finish the smaller ones so it keeps me going and motivated that I’ve finished some of the work.
Do I really need to forget about the things I don’t control?
What I mean with “forget the rest” (in the title of the post) is that while you are doing something that you can control that you can finish, all of your attention should be at the task at hand and not worrying about uncontrollable things that may or may not ruin what you are trying to finish right now.
For that you need a clear mind that can distinguish between what is important what it isn’t and that right away focuses on the task at hand. When you enter that deep focus state everything around you shrinks and what you are focusing on magnifies, becomes bigger and clearer.
Happy focused work and see you the next time!