Stopping an activity: A source of stress and distress

Who I am
Louise Hay

I have to admit that in the past I liked to leave things unfinished. I preferred it because jumping from one task to another distracted me, met inspiration and returned to motivate myself (sometimes it is tiring to concentrate on one task only for hours, changing activities helps to regenerate). But when responsibilities and activities began to multiply, interrupting activities was dangerous because I risked not finishing them.

William James said that "nothing is more tiring than the constant remembrance of unfinished business". And in fact, when the work plan is very heavy, interrupting an activity can only create chaos and in the end it forces us to do everything in a mediocre way.

Consequences of stopping an activity 

- Generates the annoying sensation of immobility. When you finish a task and delete it from the agenda you feel good, you feel you have advanced and this feeling is very positive and helps you to continue and be more productive.

- Promotes stress. When we have pending activities, we cannot help but feel overwhelmed, because we know that sooner or later we will have to finish them.

- Negatively affects attention. In other words, as we will continually think about what to do, our attention will not be 100% focused on what we are doing.

- Decreases productivity. Obviously, when you feel overwhelmed, annoyed and unable to concentrate, your productivity will be negatively affected, so we will work slower and the results will be worse.

- It is an obstacle that prevents starting new projects. If you leave a lot of activities interrupted, this will probably cause you to limit yourself to accepting new tasks, as you will believe that the workload you are facing is greater than it actually is.

Fortunately, leaving homework unfinished is just a bad habit that can be abandoned at any time. We just have to force ourselves to do it.

1. Set yourself achievable goals. It is easier to complete a job if you know how long and what resources it will take. So, set yourself achievable goals every day. For example, if you have a lot of clients, don't try to follow them all together, prioritize and focus on some first and when you are done with these you will move on to the others.

2. Go through the tasks one at a time. If you are in front of the computer screen, do not open dozens of windows at once, concentrate on what you are doing. The same goes for any other business.

3. Get distracted from time to time. It is often tiring to spend many hours concentrated on the same activity, for this reason we tend to change. Don't fall into this trap, if you feel tired it's best that you take a break, perhaps to have a coffee, go for a walk or exchange a conversation with colleagues. Then resume the interrupted activity with a fresher mind.

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