Life Hacks

This is how you focus on what’s important, not just what’s urgent

This is how you focus on what’s important, not just what’s urgent

young troubled woman using laptop at home
This is how you focus on what’s important, not just what’s urgent
(Source: Unsplash)

Have you ever felt like you’ve beaten all your deadlines for the day, but haven’t actually achieved anything truly important? You’re not alone.

On the flip side, there are strategies you can try to make better choices without having to exert so much effort. According to Harvard Business Review, here are some ways to stir you in the right direction today:

  1. Schedule important tasks, and allot more time than you actually need. A New York University (NYU) study showed that scheduling when and where you’ll do something makes it more likely that you’ll actually get to do it.
  1. Isolate the most impactful elements of important tasks. If you’re the type to set goals so lofty you eventually put them off, try considering a half-version of your goals. If that’s not feasible, shrink your task to a size that’s doable for you to actually get to finish it. 
  1. Manage your feelings of anxiety. When you’re tasked to do something important, you tend to think about all the things that could go wrong, which causes anxiety. You need to cultivate skills for tolerating uncomfortable emotions.
  1. Spend less time on unimportant tasks. Unimportant tasks tend to take up more time than they should. That’s why you should give yourself a time limit when working on them. This way, you’ll have more time for pressing matters. 
  1. Prioritize tasks that will lower your urgent but unimportant tasks. You need to look for ways to effectively streamline your workflow and eliminate repetitive tasks. This way, you have more time for other matters that require your attention. 
  1. Pay attention to what helps you see the bigger picture. When you’re hyperfocused on the actual work, it can be difficult to have enough mental space to see the bigger picture. Hence, you should pay attention to what helps you do this naturally. 

If you’re struggling to accomplish everything you need to do, don’t be too hard on yourself. It takes a while to cultivate good habits that will eventually help you manage things better. It will be challenging, and mistakes will be made along the way, but you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment once you get everything done well.

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