Feeling overwhelmed by unfinished tasks - Deepstash

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Overtaxed by all the unfinished tasks hanging over you? There is a solution | Oliver Burkeman

Feeling overwhelmed by unfinished tasks

Feeling overwhelmed by unfinished tasks

We often feel overwhelmed when we have too many tasks floating around in our heads. One way to calm that feeling of anxiety is to follow productivity guru David Allen's advice: You really should capture your open loops.

An open loop is any kind of commitment or task that's hanging around your life, but you haven't been able to deal with it. The birthday gift you need to send, that idea you had about a community garden, your desire to visit the pyramids.

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Energy-management strategies

Organization has less to do with making lists and putting things in a calendar and more to do with energy levels.

When energy is high, you feel ready to tackle any task. When it's low,...

Close loops in your head

"Open loops" are all those tasks that you've had on your mind for weeks, months or even years that are still not completed. They quietly drain a lot of energy out of you by taking up space in your subconscious.

Take an hour, day, or week to close the loop and do that thing.

Minimize task switching

To preserve your energy, focus on starting one "type" of task and finish it before moving onto the next.

You can even organize your days for various kinds of tasks to keep the different types of energy contained.

Limit the time spent reading news

“Headline anxiety” is a growing problem. 

One way to reduce the impact of the non-stop news cycle is to use screen-time trackers, available for most smartphones, to limit...

Turn off push notifications

If the urge to scroll is too strong to resist, then at least turning off your push notifications from news apps can stop you from being assailed with breaking events. 

Read the good news

If we focus on the bigger picture, such as the proportion of people living in extreme poverty halving in the past 20 years, it may be easier to remain optimistic. 

Seek another perspective. If you hear about something terrible, ask yourself: "if there had been a positive improvement, would I have heard about that?”