A selection of tips from the book "How to get things in order" by David Allen - these tips will help you to put things in order in your head and affairs, get rid of anxiety and find time for creativity and other enjoyable things in your life.
1. Completion of what has been started - start of a new one
The end is the beginning. Every time you do something, you open the way for something new. Whatever you “deal with, ” it gives you freedom: whether you close a project or dismantle a box of junk, it frees up energy. Often we are at a loss: there are so many things to do that you do not know what to grab onto. There is a sure way to get out of this state.
Just “clean up” what you started, finish something obvious and long in need of completion. Soon you will gain energy and clarity, understand which way to move and what to do, and your brain will again be ready for a more effective reaction to any event.
Disassemble your inbox, email, or finally tidy up your desk drawer. Sooner or later, this will still have to be done.
2. Don't worry about not done
Many have a habit of making deals with themselves — making promises to ourselves — and getting stressed when they can't be kept. There are two ways here: either to fulfill the agreements, or to cancel them and conduct new "negotiations".
Once "recorded" in our "memory card" affairs will incessantly put pressure on you, dangling somewhere in the backyard of consciousness. To ease this pressure, you need to learn mindfulness.
3. Evaluate your capabilities based on the to-do list
You do not know how many tasks and tasks you have - for today, tomorrow and a week ahead? In this case, you will not be able to calculate the time and understand what you are doing and what is not. And not to mention the fact that new things will fall from the sky. It won't stop. Never. Therefore, you need to develop a strategy for dealing with cases.
When you learn to keep track of your tasks, you will be able to properly plan your time and adequately assess your own capabilities. Another plus: You will say no more often because you will understand how to prioritize correctly and how important it is to protect your time.
4. To get to the intended place, you need to understand where you are
- Tell me, please, where should I go from here?
- Where do you want to go? - answered the Cat.
- I don't care ... - said Alice.
“Then it doesn't matter where you go, ” said the Cat.
Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
The Cheshire cat is a thousand times right. How can you understand that you are already there if you do not know where you were going? That's just it. And the map is useless until you know where you are. First you need to decide where to go and how much to go.
A correct assessment of the situation reduces confusion and makes it easier to navigate the "space-time-task continuum". To move forward, you need to decide what is important to you at the moment - in a company, a project, or life in general.
5. Unlimited possibilities are realized by limited means
Faster, higher, stronger - this approach does not always work. “Bigger” and “better” will always loom before you, no matter how you rush forward. Especially if you are a perfectionist. To slide on the waves, and not drown in them, the endless "whatever you want" should be driven into a physically feasible framework.
Even if you are going to do the impossible, reach your top ten, it will still require a resource that can be calculated.
6. More than one commitment in the head is the cause of stress and failure
Even if it seems to you that unfinished business does not hang over you like the sword of Damocles, this is far from the case. The subconscious mind will not allow you to relax: you will still remember about all matters - important and not very important, personal and at work. All of these are stored in memory until you consciously complete them and decide what to do with them.
There is an important point in the book "Hormones of Happiness": our brain loves to control everything. This is an evolutionary acquisition, it is impossible to remove or ignore it. When it is impossible to influence the situation, the brain "feels" uncomfortable - and so do we. This is why piling up affairs cause feelings of anxiety and anxiety.
To deal with them, it is worth making yourself feel secure more often, even when things are going wrong. Gradually, you will create a new neural pathway that will relieve you of discomfort.
7. Priorities only work on a conscious level
“What is in our power to do, it is in our power not to do.” Aristotle
The ability to prioritize is one of the most important. Whether you try to deal with all matters at once or embark on the path of essentialism is not so important. The main thing is to decide what really matters to you.
If something is "stored" in your head, it will still use your psychic resources (that is, energy). Therefore, it is worth consciously arranging cases according to the degree of urgency and importance and abandoning unnecessary ones at all.
This way you will avoid a situation of underestimation or overestimation of your capabilities. And, of course, you will not forget about important matters, being distracted by trifles. Inventory of unfinished business should be done regularly. It's a good habit.
8. Completing unfinished releases energy
All unfulfilled deeds, promises and obligations empty the tank of your psychic "fuel", taking it away from other, more important matters. We do not even realize and do not track the moments when this happens. But when you deal with "hanging" cases (or refuse them - after all, this is also a way out), then new energy, previously inaccessible to us, is released.
9. If the thought does not go out of my head, something must be done
To relax, you need to figure out what to do with unclosed tasks. Because they will "sting" you, like a jellyfish that you have taken in your hands and will not release in any way until you understand: a) what result you need, b) what steps to take.
Once you have a roadmap for action, make a calendar reminder or record it in any other way. This way you can be sure that everything is in order. Anyway, decide what "business is in order" is for you. This contributes to the successful implementation of these very cases.
10. Creativity manifests when there is room for it
Nature abhors emptiness and current does not flow through a damaged wire. When your mind is cluttered with too many unfinished tasks, it is extremely difficult to achieve the state of flow so necessary for the manifestation of creativity.
Free your life from a mountain of affairs, and you will be able to awaken new, productive thoughts - they seem to arise by themselves (but in fact - from your efforts).
11. The deeper the bed, the more powerful the flow
"Millions of people yearn for immortality, but they themselves do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon."
Most people exist in a semi-stressed state so often and for so long that they have already forgotten that it could be different, that it is possible to interact with the world in a positive way. The best way to expand the horizon is to take control of current affairs and the flow of information and introduce into your practice those working methods that will help you to exercise this control on an ongoing basis. As a result, you will gain a flow of creative energy that will help you focus on new perspectives. And you will be able to cope with truly ambitious projects.
When you clear the rubble of cases and optimize the system for working with them (both in your personal life and at work), you will feel harmony and a surge of energy that can be directed in the right direction.
12. Worry is a waste of energy
"True generosity towards the future is to devote everything to the present."
Remember this morning: here you woke up, opened your eyes and ... immediately thoughts began to flicker. “We need to do this”, “Don't forget to write eight letters!”, “I must have time to complete the task before 12, and then two more” - a real mess. Remember: if you think about what needs to be done (but haven't done it yet) more than once, you need to actively act. But how do you stop worrying?
Thinking about what you are not doing here and now is an empty, not at all rational waste of time and energy. You are only multiplying your anxiety by getting anxiety squared.
Scientists have proven that our brain cannot but control unfinished actions. Moreover, he does not just keep records, but also includes an internal critic, slipping you thoughts about his own unproductiveness (or even worthlessness - someone else). It only worsens your mood and, instead of acting, you sink into apathy. Therefore, it is worth learning to turn off the internal dialogue and not think about those problems that right now - this second - you cannot solve.
Unrecorded, unclear and, as a result, neglected affairs take possession of you and do not allow you to rest. It's time to turn the tide and gain power over them. The best and most productive way to get a job done is to be a master, not a slave. You can do it!