Improving medical students

How to Cope with Overload

Posted by medliorator on November 29, 2007

I’m tired, and I feel like I have too much to do on my plate.
Thankfully, I have a toolbox of tricks to help me deal with this. Here’s how I’m handling it.


I list out everything I need to do and/or is weighing on my mind… I usually make a big list of all of them on a piece of paper.


I then highlight only the ones that must be done immediately or are of deep, fundamental importance in my life.


After that, I just do the highlighted tasks and ignore the rest for now. Nothing else matters other than the highlighted tasks – the rest can literally fall off the face of the earth. My tasks are those highlighted – and nothing else.


Whenever something else comes up, I add it to the list instead of jumping up to do it immediately. The only exception to this is if it’s a personally devastating issue, meaning that if I don’t take action now, desperate things will happen. Everything else just goes on the list until the next go-round.


When the highlighted tasks are done, I go back and highlight a few more that are the most vital among the ones left, then do those. I just repeat this cycle over and over until things are back to normal.


Some people use all sorts of prioritization schemes and multiple to-do lists, but every time I try something that complex, I find myself fighting against it and not getting real stuff accomplished.

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