In this twenty-first century of productivity and efficiency, we often work with to-do-lists, bullet points memos, and reminders to stay on task. The thirst for the immediate gratification may have led us to a day where the first and last thing we do is checking our email or updating our statuses…
I work with the same. I prepare carefully my lists, even prioritizing them with a system to match my carefully thought-out goals for the year, the month, the week and ultimately my day. But by the minute, I go with the urgent. I pay attention to the ones that’s going to scream the loudest. And I end up exhausting myself with the urgency that is blasting all around, urgency of the distraction, or urgency of the angry one, urgency of the breaking news that is going to buzz – and I don’t want to be clueless, do I – or urgency of the drama that fills every corner of my connected world.
I have four entries in my priority system, the AFUU, or “Biggaphew“, which is important and urgent, the AFNU, or “Bigaphnu“, which is the important that is not urgent, the afU, or “Smallaphew“, which the urgent that is not important, and the last of the four, the afnu, or “Smallaphnu“, which is the one that should be discarded first, as non important and non urgent.
Once I am done with the very few “Biggaphews“, I should normally dedicate myself to the important tasks that require my attention. Because usually what is important is also time-consuming, and sometimes with anxiety triggering, I tend to do the third on the list before, cheating with my own rules. And I end up doing millions of little unimportant stuff, that keep pushing the boundaries of urgency, until I get exhausted and/or overwhelmed.
Follow the rules you set for yourself! but take them easy on you. They can be a curse or a blessing.
What’s your way of dealing with distraction? Do you set priorities? What are they?