self-improvement

Prioritize and Simplify Tasks For Less Stress

Last Updated: February 4, 2015

Written by Seth Lui

Many times, people feel overwhelmed with the amount of work they have to do and as a result, end up not doing any at all. Procrastination is for the most part, knowing what you have to do, but not wanting to start because there is too much to do. Here I am going to share 2 techniques on how to deal with this.

Prioritize

Derived from Brian Tracy‘s best-seller, Eat That Frog, it is important to know what tasks are truly important and contributes to your goal, while the rest are just fillers or inconsequential. The famous Pareto principle applies, that 80% of your results are going to come from just 20% of your effort. Filter out the tasks that will give this 80% result, which will typically be the hardest tasks, then do them first.

The frog analogy in this case, is the hardest yet most crucial task you have to accomplish, which you have to do first and foremost. Eat that disgusting frog. Always, always start with the most challenging, result oriented task. After completing the toughest task of the day, the rest will be a breeze. Rank your tasks in importance and work downwards. You will be a lot more focused, as well as efficient.

Don’t spend time on activities that are just time wasters that don’t help your goal. When you really scrutinize what you are doing, you will realize that many chores are literally a waste of time.

Chunking/Simplifying

Anthony Robbins calls simplifying your activities, ‘chunking’. Group entire activities together into one process like, ‘Exercise’, ‘Career building’ or ‘Family’ and you will feel a lot less daunted.

Take exercising for example, if you split it into the specific steps you have to do, you will end up with perhaps a hundred overwhelming steps like: drive to the gym, register at counter, get into gym attire, do 5 sets of 10 reps of bench press, do 4 sets of 8 sets of lateral pull, take a drink, do 4 sets of 10 reps of squats, 5 sets of bicep curls, go for 20 minute jog on treadmill AND SO ON.

When you look at it like this, the task seems almost impossible and too tedious to execute. So simplify it into one simple action, which is to exercise. Notice when you drive a car or ride a bike, the more you think about specific actions you have to do like change gears and clutch and look into the rear mirror, the more you will mess up. When everything is one fluid motion, then can you manage it well.

Don’t focus on the details, but focus on the entirety of the action and the results it will yield. This will let you accomplish things without over-thinking and being too stressed out. So chunk your daily activities now for best results.

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