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4 ways busy people sabotage themselvesND

Alice Boyes, Harvard Business Review, Thursday September 20 2018

You haven’t replied to an email, even though it would only take 10 minutes. Maybe you have left another important task undone for weeks – you just don’t have the time, right? These self sabotaging patterns maintain a cycle of always having too much to do (or at least feeling like it). Here are four ways you might do this, and some possible solutions. First, you keep ploughing away without stepping back and prioritising. Stress causes our focus to narrow, but it’s important to use the ‘pay yourself first’ principle and accomplish the items on your priority list first. Second, you completely overlook easy solutions for getting things done. To get out of the trap of avoiding easy solutions, take a step back and question your assumptions. Next, you ‘kick the can down the road’ instead of making easy solutions to conundrums. Remedies for recurring problems are often simple if you can step back enough to get perspective. And by gradually accumulating winning strategies over time, you can significantly erode your problem, bit by bit. Finally, you use avoid or escape methods for coping with anxiety. If you want to deal constructively with situations that trigger anxiety for you, you’ll need to engineer some flexibility and space into your life so that you can work through your emotions and thoughts when your anxiety is set off. With practice, you’ll start to notice when you’re just doing something to avoid doing something else.

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