How do I stop worrying about things I don't need to worry about?
May 2, 2009 10:35 AM   Subscribe

GTDFilter: I need help managing my time but it's something different. Not necessarily time for doing things but thinking about them. Basically, I cannot cope with multiple responsibilities effectively; even small things end up taking hours.

My problem is this: I'm a fairly active student at a fairly demanding college. With classes and extracurricular activities, I have tons of responsibilities, and to be brutally honest, I'm doing OK in most of them.

My problem is this: if I know that I will have to do something due that day or that week, that single responsibility prevents me from having any sort of enjoyment in anything else. You'd say that I should just get that thing done and go on with my life but sometimes, I cannot technically start doing that work (like I have to wait on someone else do something first as it happens a lot in group projects).

This may not seem that bad but it's really annoying at times. To give you an example: I had a 6 page paper due this friday. Really, I could have pulled that off in 2 hours or less. However, I had to wait until Thursday night to get a confirmation from the teacher about the outline.

However, starting from wednesday, I just was thinking about it all the time. It just keeps my mind off other things; like personal projects that I want to work on or going out with friends.

I don't know if this is making any sense but I feel like my problem is with just compartmentalizing things mentally. I do not have trouble prioritizing or getting things done in the sense of time management. And I do not feel like I'm overwhelmed for that reason; I know there's enough time. But maybe I'm wrong and that's why I need some perspective on this.
posted by the_dude to Work & Money (2 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
As I understand it, part of the goal of something like GTD is to alleviate this by letting you be sure that you have the responsibility recorded, tracked, planned, etc. That is, you are 100% sure that you will have time to do what you need to. Maybe you need to find a way to remind yourself of this? Looking at a schedule and seeing 4 hours on Friday morning blocked off for your paper might help you move on.
posted by dreadpiratesully at 11:12 AM on May 2, 2009

I am not one to tell people to see a doctor as a knee-jerk response, but have you ever been screened for ADD? The symptoms aren't always consistent with what you're experiencing, but there are subtle differences between different types of ADD, and there is a lot of variation between the symptoms of people with the condition, but a lot of it revolves around difficulty prioritizing your focus, rather than simply being distracted, e.g., over focus is also a symptom. I didn't think much of it until I was screened. It may not be much of an issue even if it turns out to be ADD, because you might have a mild condition, and there are things you can do to deal with it, including things like life coaching which don't have undesired side effects and which are very effective in situations where the symptoms are not severe or overly counterproductive.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:35 PM on May 2, 2009

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