How To Deprioritize Tasks - Deepstash

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How To Deprioritize Tasks

  1. Set a limit on the time one has to work on a certain task, creating friction using intervals.
  2. Create a NOT TO DO list of the things you won’t do at all.
  3. Review your priorities on a weekly basis, asking yourself if the task is still important.
  4. Take out the impactful parts of the important tasks and do those first.
  5. Ask someone about how they feel about the prioritization of the tasks.

Match Your Internal Clock To Work

Many studies on productivity point out that we are only doing 2.5 to 3 hours of productive work on any given day. While most companies and managers expect the 8 to 9-hour productivity on a daily basis, we need to let go of this 9 to 5 office culture.

We need to build a new schedule that aligns with our body clocks and energy levels to best suit our work and has the work-life balance we always wanted.

Rebuilding Passion And Curiosity

  • Just like the birds come out after the storm goes away, one can start to rebuild and refocus on what makes one happy, nurturing one’s creativity.
  • Find something impactful and make it into an anchor task, a pillar by which the rest of the tasks are supported. Try to make it non-negotiable.
  • Helping others is a great way to increase one’s overall happiness and satisfaction levels.
  • Doing work that is directly helpful to others makes you feel positive and passionate.
  • Do what you feel like, even if you just want to watch a movie on a Monday afternoon.

Don’t Do Stuff That’s Stressing You Out

Working on high-priority tasks can be hard, but it is even harder to stop working on them. One needs a weekly or monthly review and reassessment to check what is important to us and deprioritize certain tasks which are no longer serving one’s best interests.

There are various mental biases like the sunk cost fallacy, the completion bias, or the Zeigarnik effect that our brains can experience, making it hard to deprioritize certain tasks.

Building Mental Resilience By Using Indifference

Building Mental Resilience By Using Indifference

There are two main mental biases which add stress to our lives:

  • Time Anxiety: The feeling that we are not utilizing our time in the best way or do not have enough of it.
  • Productivity Shame: The feeling that we are not doing enough, or that our work isn’t being recognized.

Though it seems radical, one can be indifferent and focus on one’s strengths, uncover one’s hidden passions and try to find meaning and purpose in life using self-reflective activities like mediation or journaling.

Minimum Digital Labour

As our digital tools can be used anywhere, there are no boundaries between work and the rest of our lives.

We need to set a limit to the amount of digital labour (email, Zoom calls, phone message responses) we keep doing all the time, and focus on people, projects, hobbies, and ways to find meaning and purpose.

Discover Your Ideal Work Habits

Our habits power our daily actions, but we all cannot build the same habits and have to find out what works for us in a scientific manner.

One can use a productivity tracker or simply write a journal tracking the activities, using the following method:

  1. Question what you want to get done.
  2. Research more on the question.
  3. Pick one strategy and create a hypothesis.
  4. Start experimenting while tracking your progress.

Chronotypes: Our Circadian Rhythms

We all have different Circadian Rhythms that make up our own chronotype, and are at our best if we work according to the same daily energy levels.

Our chronotype determines if we fall in one of the three types: A lark, an owl, or the third bird. Once we find that out, we can work our schedule to be the most productive, creative, motivated and focused.

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