Feeling overwhelmed? What to do when you have too much to do

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“Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do,” said Steve Jobs.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with the multitude of tasks before you, it is time to take a closer look and choose a focus for your company, your products, and your job. Without focus you will most likely attempt to do too many things, and, as a result, do them poorly.

Use these tips to sort through the backlog on your to-do list, and to learn about selection, prioritization, and refactoring — which will make things better in the long run.

  • Single-tasking. When you think you are multitasking, what you are actually doing is inefficiently flipping between several single tasks and distracting yourself repeatedly. Better to do one thing, finish it and move on.
  • Concentration. There are at least 22 ways to stay focused on your work
  • Getting up early. By getting up an hour earlier and using the quiet time before the day for creative work can be incredibly productive.
  • BANJO = bang another nasty job out. That thing that you’re putting off because it’s complicated, gritty and not quite urgent enough to do now but important enough to nag at you. Yeah, that one. Just do it now.
  • Cancel those meetings. Meetings are the opposite of work. If you have to have them, have quicker, shorter, better meetings
  • Delegate. Even if your colleagues are also very busy, you can assign them tasks to do later and at least clear them off your plate. You can also find freelancers, contractors and associates who can help carry the load when things are really busy. 
  • Prioritize. Prioritize your tasks and choose to focus on just a few things at a time.

If you are going to be busy, be busy doing the right thing.

Adapted from an article by Matthew Stibbe

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