I just opened my to-do list, which I had taken a break from for the last few days. I looked at it and immediately became overwhelmed. The list is massive and has become unnecessarily added-to while other things have failed to be removed. I look at one thing, then another, then another and I think of everything I have yet to do and how little time there is to do it.
When I get home the first thing I’m doing is separating it into a “to do list” as it is, and a bunch of backburner notes. Many of the things mentioned here are from months ago that I never had the chance to follow up with. The list, in short, has become a massive, intimidating enemy, a hydra that has too many heads to accurately focus on.
One of the things that I now see has shot my productivity is dumping more on my plate before clearing it. The joy of scratching things off the list was rarer and rarer, as the addition of hydra-heads became more common and more common.
Computers have the luxury of sometimes having multiple processors. I only have one, and by pretending to not just have one focus, I have split my cognitive effort between a hundred (literally, sometimes) different things.
A house divided against itself cannot stand. A mind divided against itself cannot think. I want my mind back, and I will take it.