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08 May

When things are moving slowly, do as in the amusement park…


Datum: 2013-05-08 14:53

Some­times no mat­ter what you do, you can­not seem to progress with a cer­tain task. We know we need to com­plete it by the end of the day, but we feel great resis­tance and reluc­tance. This often hap­pens to me when I need to write, for­mu­late or cre­ate something. 

Don’t fight it. Instead, work with three tasks simultaneously. 

If you lose the ener­gy and will to work with the task at hand, choose one of the oth­er two to work on for as long as you feel inspired to do so. If you get tired of this task as well, move on to the third task. 

Change your focus 

No, this is not a ques­tion of mul­ti­task­ing. It is more like the mov­ing stairs in a fun house at an amuse­ment park. You know the stairs that are split in half where the left side moves up when the right one moves down. If you keep stand­ing on one step while try­ing to climb the stairs, you will get nowhere. It is not until you get off the right step when it is at its peak posi­tion” and get on the left step as it is on its way up, that you will even­tu­al­ly reach the top of the stairs. 

Do this

  1. When you are work­ing on a task that is not urgent, but still needs to be com­plet­ed soon and it is nei­ther pro­gress­ing smooth­ly nor quick­ly, put it aside for a minute. Don’t put it aside com­plete­ly, but just take a break. 

  2. Pick two tasks from the to-do-list that you need to do some­time soon. These three tasks could for instance be three of the high­est pri­or­i­tized tasks from the list, mean­ing it does not mat­ter what order you do them in. 

  3. Start work­ing on one of the two alter­na­tive tasks. 

  4. If you feel the least reluc­tance, return to the first task or start work­ing on the third task.

  5. If you should start to feel dis­cour­aged again, put this task aside and con­tin­ue work­ing with the one out of the two oth­er tasks that you feel most inspired to work on. 

  6. Before you know it you will have com­plet­ed one of the tasks and only have two left. 

The use­ful distraction

If you are work­ing on three tasks simul­ta­ne­ous­ly when things are mov­ing slow­ly, you can allow your­self to get dis­tract­ed since you are being dis­tract­ed by anoth­er task that is also of val­ue to you. I do not rec­om­mend that you always work in this way, since it can make you feel scat­tered and frag­ment­ed. But, when you are hav­ing a heavy day and noth­ing seems to get done, frag­ment your atten­tion and work on dif­fer­ent kinds of tasks instead of let­ting your atten­tion drift to Face­book, anoth­er cup of cof­fee, check­ing out the online news or chat­ting with your colleague. 

What’s your way?

How do you pull your­self out of a ditch when feel­ing reluc­tant while work­ing on a task? Please write a com­ment and share your experiences.

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