Let’s say it’s an ideal working day (no distractions or life complications), and you have five tasks to complete; One big task of 4h of work, and four smaller tasks of 1h of work.
Which one do you take on first? The big one, or smaller ones? Why?
Until recently, I’d take on the bigger task, procrastinate on smaller ones until they become big and the deadline is near, then I’d panic and do them all at once – not an excellent tactic for sure 😄 🤦♂️.
Now I try to pick just one thing to do that day (work-wise), along with all the things I do daily that are part of the routine and don’t change. Because I’ve learned that we usually overestimate what we can do in a day, and underestimate what we can do in a year. If I finish it, and there’s still time and energy, I take on a smaller task if I can.
I learned how much I was bullshitting myself by writing up tasks I think I can do “in one day”, and write a time estimate next to them. For example:
3h of work today, and I’m free to do my side projects. Right? Right!?
And then I would track time for every task to see how off I was on my estimate:
OMG. Where did my day go!? 💩 😅
This is why I lowered my expectations of myself. It also decreased my stress levels, and I feel that I am doing more, now that I am working on fewer things per day.
Busy ≠ Productive!