The thing about focusing on effectiveness, is that everything that I put on “the List” is something I think is important. And then if I get a little behind I end up in a situation where my todo list for today has a time estimate of over 11 hours. And then I panic.
Today I managed to convince myself that I’d forgotten my wallet. I spent half an hour waiting at the physio for my boyfriend to come by with his credit card (thankfully his office is across the road, but he was in a meeting). And then he rushed off and I walked home to find it. And I did – buried deep inside my backpack between my laptop and a pile of papers that I’ve been carting around for days but haven’t found the time to read.
By the time I got home I’d calmed down, and when I found my wallet I felt so stupid. I don’t, typically, see myself as a person who forgets important things. However I’d got so frazzled that I had believed it when emptying out my backpack would have shown me that no, I am not that person. I thought about concealing it from my boyfriend, but I opted not to. When I called him to confess, he laughed. For some reason he finds it endearing when I’m really dozy. I think it’s best not to question this.
Getting overwhelmed is something I need to focus on. When everything is important I don’t prioritize as well as I should do. My “List” is a mix of things that need to happen today, with things that make long-term easier. Such as reading a paper every day – I don’t need to do that today, but when I have to do something like write a project proposal (like I did last week) it only took a couple of hours because I’d laid all the ground work ahead of time – in the piles of annotated papers on my desk and the references organized (with notes) in Zotero.
So, he’s my plan for staying calm and getting on with things. Because one thing is for sure, when I’m overwhelmed and freaking out, I’m not being productive!
- Do what’s possible, starting with things that need to happen today
- Forgive myself for taking a break (I needed it!)