How to fight that feeling

Man head down with computer and clock and calendar

Ever since lockdown, the days seem to merge and blur. Despite the monotony – or maybe because of it – the weeks have passed quickly. It’s Monday, then it’s Friday, then it’s Monday again.

And now it’s already past the middle of November.

Feeling overwhelmed?

When I realise that the end of the year is almost here, I feel … overwhelmed? inundated? demoralised? exhausted? frustrated? Take your pick. I’ve been working long hours and I’m busy all the time. But somehow, I haven’t made as much progress on the big things as I’d planned.

And I don’t think I’m alone. I think most of us are wondering how we are going to finish all the important things we need to do before the end of the year.

Focus on this week

So when I woke up on Monday morning, I thought about this for a while. And I decided there is only one thing to do:

Make this week count

I decided to focus just on this week, and just on one major task. That’s what I’m going to finish this week.

Pick one thing in the zone

Circles of importance and urgency

You might have seen this diagram before. It’s a basic principle of time management.

The only way to make progress on the important things – the things in the zone – is to actively focus our effort there.

There are things we all have to do every week, or even every day, that aren’t in the zone. But there are also things we allow ourselves to be distracted by, that are neither important nor urgent. And then there is no time left over for the important things. We know this, but we forget it too often.

So just for this week, I am going to focus on one thing that’s in the zone. I’m going to make sure that, by the end of this week, I can say: “I finished it.”

And when Friday comes around, I won’t feel frustrated at my lack of progress.

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