Slow down and tame your tasks with less stress

With so many events, crises and massive changes happening at warp speed, and so much of the future unknown — and in many cases appearing to be headed in an unsettling or disturbing direction — it can be hard to get your bearings, stay focused and keep any fear or anxiety in check.

My general mantra and response in times like these (well, we’ve never quite been in times like these, so let’s just say up to now …) has always been that I’m taking it “one day at a time.” But honestly, for the past several weeks now, I’ve been taking it “two hours at a time” — and I have to report back that it has worked wonders!

I’ve always been fairly good at being present (it’s one of the reasons I am such a good coach ;) but I can sometimes get overwhelmed by all the things that I need to do in my life, along with paying attention to what is going on in the world. I realized how much suffering this was causing me, making me feel bad about myself, or ruminating about how things I have little or no control over might play out. So my remedy was to stay out of my head (even more than I normally do!) and only listen to my gut and intuition and see where they lead me.

In other words, I’m constantly asking myself internally, What is the next best thing to do? And then ask myself the next, and the next, etc., only considering about two hours ahead — and not planning much more than that — obviously as realistically as my schedule would allow.

This method really puts you even more into the present moment, and in some magical, quantum way expands the time that you do have because you’re focusing only the next two hours. Especially if you are a very busy person with big projects going on, slowing down and then concentrating your time this way will actually allow you to be more productive and less stressed.

It’s also really helpful when dealing with others, as presence is one of the most precious gifts you can give to another. Fully being there and listening to them deeply at all levels — i.e., not just hearing what they are saying while thinking about all the things that you have to do, all your problems or what you want to say, etc., can transform many a relationship dynamic.

My previous PGG essay The Present of Presence, which you can find here on Medium, reflects more of these themes if this is something that you would like more food for thought and suggestions about.

How do you tame your tasks? Feel free to share what works for you in the comments below!

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Kristina Leonardi is a nationally recognized career and life coach, speaker and author who for over 14 years has empowered individuals to make lasting professional and personal changes aligned with their true passions and talents while fulfilling their role in the world at large.With a holistic and personal growth-oriented approach, she has helped hundreds of men and women over the past decade improve their job performance, enter or re-enter the job force, change careers, better manage their time and stress, and live happier, more meaningful, balanced lives. Her specialty is working with people who feel stuck or are in transition and can help you clarify exactly what you want to do, identify blocks, issues, and patterns in your way, and offer proven ideas, resources, and action steps to get you there.

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