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26 Oct

Five things or five minutes

Date: 2011-10-26 12:00 Comments: 0 st

There are numerous ways in which to handle the moments when we feel overwhelmed with work.

The problem might be that we scroll up and down the list of e-mails in our inbox, click sporadically in random places without really deciding what to do and then deal with it.

The desk might be crowded with piles and papers, and regardless where we look, we are reminded of what we need to do and think “That’s right, I really need to take care of that” and “Oh no, is that still there? I need to send that before the end of the day”.

The fact that the methods to setting these problems straight are so numerous is probably due to that it is such a common phenomenon. So, if this should happen to you, there is no reason to feel alone in facing this type of problems.

Choose one out of two methods

When you are so swamped with work that you do not know in which end to begin, and you find yourself in a decision-limbo, proceed to use either one of the following two approaches:

  • Work for five minutes with one thing


  • Choose five things to complete

When you have worked for five minutes or completed the five things you decided you would finish, take a break. Reward yourself according to your preferences and enjoy the fact that you have taken a step forward.

… and choose again

Repeat this process until you regain your energy and vitality, and the tasks will practically complete themselves. This way you divide the large quantity of papers/ e-mails/ tasks into manageable steps, making it easier to get going.

What is your way?

When things around you feel overwhelming and you do not know where to begin, what do you do? Leave a comment and share your wisdom.

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