Changing tasks is actually a big thing for us. Sometimes we can do it, and sometimes we can’t. Sometimes we want to and sometimes we don’t.
The confusion is partly due to the fact that we either do or don’t enjoy what we are doing, and also partly due to the fact that we either do or don’t enjoy the next thing we’re going to do.
If we don’t enjoy what we’re doing and do enjoy what’s next, transitioning is much easier. But if it’s the other way around, as in we enjoy what we’re doing, we have no desire to see it finished and we aren’t looking forward to the next task … well, you get the picture.
But is that all?
There is also a little matter of what generated the idea to change tasks. If we get distracted by something we are attracted to, that is an internally generated initiative to transition. If our boss, spouse or child asks us to switch tasks, that’s an externally generated initiative to transition from what we’re doing to something else.
It’s been my experience that internally initiated transitions are easier than externally initiated ones.
In the interest of helping out, I’ve made a list of the three things that help me when I have to change tasks on the fly. here they are:
If we’re expected to transition immediately, well, that isn’t going to work so well. If we want to transition immediately, that will work just fine.
In cases where transition needs to be effected immediately, it goes much better if we are aware of our trouble with it. Knowing what we’re up against and recognizing how we are going to feel, how we are feeling, is a great help when we need to transition but don’t want to.
If worse comes to worst, try convincing yourself that transitioning was actually your plan all along. Don’t think this is easy, but don’t make it hard either. Just pretend that you’re going along with it.
If that doesn’t help I have one more option for you to try …
If you have trouble with transitioning even when you are aware you will have trouble, try bargaining with yourself. Promise yourself you can return to what you are doing after a set amount of time or work has been done.
This post currently has
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.
Last reviewed: 16 Jul 2013