The Worry That You’re Doing the Wrong Thing Right Now
Let´s take a typical start of a workday like the author of “The Worry” on “zen habits” Leo Babauta did:
You begin one task from an email, but then quickly have the urge to see if there’s something else more important you should be doing. And this problem repeats itself — every time you sit down with one thing, the dozens of others on your mind (and the many potential urgent items that might be coming in as you sit there) are grasping for your attention.
Is there ever any certainty that you´re doing the right thing right now?
Babauta writes about the source of this worry and some ways to deal with it. We all know this feeling as well. We got a bunch of tasks on our lists and don´t know if we are on the right thing in this moment.
Where does this worry come from?
The author has a great theory. As kids we had people leading us and giving us the right directions – teachers or parents. At some point when we got older we became more and more our own boss -organizing ourselves. Even though we technically may have a boss, prioritizing our tasks is still our responsibility.
On top of this comes the fact that most of us see other people obviously being super efficient and effective.
I’m here to tell you that this is an illusion. No one is sure, no one is free from the worry.
The worry comes because we want to be doing the perfect thing, and we also want not to mess up.
Accepting that no one is perfect and getting rid of the desire “do-the-perfect-thing” – or better the fear of “no-doing-the-perfect-thing” – makes us more convenient and more likely to be more efficient and effective. It´s important not to carry around unnecessary weight and fears.
Steps to deal with the worry
- Shine the brilliant light of awareness: Notice the worry – don´t fear it, hate it or worry about it!
- Accept it as a friend: Accept the worries as friends helping you – not holding you back
- Welcome it along on an important task: Pick a task that feels important quickly on gut instinct. Don´t think about the question if it´s the “perfect task”
- Set an intention to stick with the task: This is probably the most important step in my opinion. Make an agreement with yourself. Stick to your task for a while without following the urge to check other things. For this time we will be sure of this one thing and give 100%.
- Stick with it: … and get it done!
The way to productivity
Sticking to one task and getting rid of distractions makes us way more efficient. I´ve a list of tasks every day and I find myself often switching tasks back and forth because all of them seem important to me. Only by saying “let´s focus on this task for the next 60 minutes without distractions or worries” gives me the feeling of being super productive after this set 60 minutes.
So, distractions aren´t only things for pleasure like Facebook, having a snack, doing some small talk… even “work” can be a distraction from “work”.