Old joke: “Doctor, it hurts when I do this.” “Well stop doing that!”
I find myself looking at this the opposite way lately, noticing things that help.
Remember back in school when you put off writing that report? For a whole semester it haunts you. It starts with “I know I need to do it, but I have all these other things I’d rather do.” Then turns into “I know I need to do it, but man that’s a lot of work. I need to get to a point where I can carve out some time to do it.” And finally, “Dear Lord, it’s due on Wednesday!” You have to pull a series of all-nighters to get it done.
As an adult, I like to think I’ve learned from those experiences. I’m now very aware that time is a precious commodity. I spend it carefully… but not always as wisely as I should.
I’ve noticed that sometimes I spend so much time focused on the major things that I forget about the smaller, yet still vital, things, and they add up! The pile-up begins! So I start focusing on the smaller things… then some major thing starts to seem less major. I put it off. Now I’m keeping up with the other stuff. Then “BLAM!” That major thing I pushed to the side now demands immediate attention and I’m back in school pulling all-nighters to get the train back on the track.
Well, here’s what helps:
A. Do something about the thing that’s nagging you.
It’s nagging you for a reason. It needs attention. Don’t pretend it doesn’t.
B. Nag yourself about the things you are ignoring.
When something is not finished, you can’t serve it. Everyone has more pots than burners. Shuffling is required. What you don’t want is a kitchen full of pots containing rotting food. Keep filling your orders so they can go out of your kitchen.
Apart from God, there is no such so thing as unlimited bandwidth. Since there is only so much we can process and respond to at a time, and we need a certain amount of rest to do that efficiently, it pays to spread out the demand.