I just want to lie down on the couch, cover myself with a blanket, and cry. But, unfortunately, nothing will solve itself. The longer you do nothing, the more problems pile up — little and not so little.
So what do you do? First of all, calm down. You don’t need to panic right now. A few deep breaths, a short walk in the fresh air, or a two-minute meditation will help you relax. After that, you can move on to the next step: categorizing problems.
Solvable and unsolvable problems
Sometimes life puts obstacles that we simply can’t control. These are, for example, the death of a loved one, loss, tragedy, the behavior of others, dismissal, the breakup of a relationship.
Make a list of all your problems and cross out the items that you can not affect. Some circumstances should just survive and accept.
Important and Secondary Problems
The ability to prioritize – a skill that is vital to modern man. If you know how to concentrate on the essentials, no chaos is not terrible to you. Write down the remaining problems in decreasing order of importance. The first three or four items are what you should do in the near future.
Think about what you need to do, what specific steps will bring you closer to your goals. For example, if you want to find a new job, you should first write a resume and put it on a special website. If you are most concerned about the strange behavior of electrical wiring, you need to find the phone number of a master. If you’re worried about your health – make an appointment with a doctor.
Remember to set yourself a clear deadline. Great, now you have a plan of action!
Urgent problems and problems that can be postponed.
Sometimes everything seems important, so it’s not clear what to do first. In that case, another criterion, the level of urgency, can help you.
If a problem is important and requires an urgent solution, it can’t be ignored under any circumstances. Deal with it immediately!
If the problem is important, but it can wait until the day after tomorrow or even until next month, you have options. You need to decide exactly when you will address it. Better, of course, to get down to business sooner than later. But there is little time to spare, so there is no need to rush and throw all the other tasks (provided that they are also important).
But what if the problem is not very important, but urgent? Think about it again: are you sure you need to solve it? Can no one else do it for you? Is it worth the time and effort? Let’s say you decide that you do have to deal with the problem. Leave some space for it in your schedule, but remember to prioritize.
Problems from the last category – unimportant and non-urgent – you can safely cross off your list. And if they’re still bugging you, try the following method from the book “Jedi Techniques.
Rooting out the small stuff
1. Put a task on your to-do list (daily or a few times a week) called “Spend 20 minutes cleaning up small crap.
2. As this small stuff comes up, write it down on your checklist.
When it comes time to do this task, you proceed as follows:
А. Prepare for 30 seconds, going over the list of small stuff, and decide what exactly of this stuff you will do in the next 20 (15, 10 – to taste) minutes.
Б. Set a timer for 20 minutes. You start doing these tasks one by one.
В. When the timer rings, you stop and put your list of crap in order: erase what you have done, add what appears, reformulate unfinished.