Overwhelm to Clarity: How to Focus on One Thing

Most of the time, you may find yourself overwhelmed with all sorts of different things you need to do.  You can think of so many things that you need to accomplish that you feel like you’re drowning in all of them.  The initial response to this scenario is try to finish tons of things in a short period of time.  This may result to having haphazard work.  If you find yourself in this situation, check out these three tips to find the path from overwhelm to clarity.

3 tips for finding focus and clarity

1. Get up from your chair, and walk.

Give yourself a few minutes away from your desk and try walking around.  Walking around exercises not only your body, but also your mind.  While walking, start thinking about the things that you need to do.  Don’t get too overwhelmed with your thoughts.  There is a purpose.  Just calmly think about the things you need to get done.  Once you feel like you’ve thought about them, you can follow through with the next step.

2. Try writing instead of typing.

Once you’ve sorted out all the things you need to get done in your head, it’s time to take out your pen and your paper.  Don’t sit back down just yet.  It helps to write all these things standing up.  Start listing down the things you need to get done.  Just do a brain dump on that paper.  The good thing about brain dumping is that it frees up your bandwidth.  Your mind will be freed from all those cluttered thoughts, and you can actually focus on the things that you have to get done.

3. Follow a template.

When writing, it also helps to try and organise those writing by using a template.  This helps with the whole ‘overwhelm’ thing.  Having a cluttered list will only overwhelm you even more.  You need to put some structure for those thoughts.  For this article, I will be explaining the parts of the template and what you’ll be writing under those headings.

Area/Category
This part identifies the general category or subjects of your tasks. Think of them as the headings for when you classify your tasks.

[What] tasks:
This part identifies all the tasks that fit under a category. For example, tasks under a category ‘History’ would be the things that you need to get done that are related to the subject ‘History’. This helps you give your thoughts a little bit more organisation.

One thing now:
This part takes away the overwhelm, ultimately. Identify the task that you have the highest priority or urgency. This area of the template requires you to choose one thing to focus on in one category. This means that per category, you should only have one thing to prioritise.

Who: Who is the doer of the task?
Sometimes, there are tasks wherein you get support or help from another person. Identify the doer of the task in this area.

When: When is this gonna happen?
Of course, you need to tell yourself when you need to start working on that specific task. This helps because it makes you have your own concrete schedule for that specific task.

Prioritising and focusing on things actually help you on the long run.  It helps you create a process when you work, and it boosts up the quality of the output, since you tend to avoid doing things on a rush.  Keeping your written template will also help you remember the things you need to do.

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