Avoiding Useless Urgency - Deepstash

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Avoiding Useless Urgency

If we can avoid the urgent tasks and focus on important ones, we can take care of our long-term goals.

Many small, mindless, menial tasks seem important and urgent to us, as they provide us with a rush of accomplishment. Answering a phone call or an email demand quick and immediate action and provide an illusion of urgency, even though they may be trivial.

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We assume we have more time than we really do, and we will get the job done quickly. Tasks like filing one’s tax return, catching a plane, investing in one’s health and other life demands become difficult with this basic assumption.

Things usually do not happen as we expect them to be. Our inner view of things (our cognitive bias) is shattered with unexpected obstacles, delays and interruptions.

  • We often feel overwhelmed to try something as it appears too big and undoable (like writing a book), leading to us not even starting it.
  • Breaking down a task into clean, small doable actions makes us accomplish the same.
  • The step by step approach makes work more manageabl...

The Planning Fallacy is a prediction error that one repeatedly makes, misestimating the time it takes to complete a certain task.

People around us want our time and attention, which is increasingly precious and scarce.

The workplace is a competitive zone, and enthusiastic workers take an unfair lead even though their plans are unrealistic and overly optimistic.

"What can go wrong, will go wrong".— Murphy’s Law

Our original plans and goals sometimes become the cognitive biases that do not let us work on a daily basis. They anchor themselves in our brain from the time we decided to set the goal. Our initial predictions, expectations or assessments may not be accurate and may need major o...

Time isn’t our enemy and we can work with time to maximize our productivity. The Pomodoro technique teaches us to work in short focused time slots of 20 to 40 minutes, and then give yourself a break.

Asking for an opinion from someone who is not neck-deep in cognitive biases due to being too close to the subject matter may be an eye opener.

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