How to deal with unexpected tough tasks

On my long train trip from San Francisco to Denver the other day, I accumulated multiple emails that were frustrating. They required thoughtful responses, and when I returned to the land of the internet on Friday night in Denver, I was in no state of adequate wakefulness to reply to them. So I just left them sitting there! For two days! And while I felt the compulsion to answer them weighing on my slightly for the next 36 hours, when I finally read them and responded, the process was much easier than it would have been had I replied immediately, and I wrote much better responses than I would have.

Sometimes when you see something tough you have to deal with, it’s best to just leave it be for a few days and come back to it when your subconscious has had time to digest it. Not everything really needs to be done right now. The more difficult that issue, the longer it may take to digest. Give it a try sometime.

One Reply to “How to deal with unexpected tough tasks”

  1. I have mixed feelings on that point. It can help to have a fresher perspective later, but I really don’t like leaving things unresolved. The more troubling it is to begin with, the more I just want it to be finished, and dealing with it right away lets me breathe a sigh of relief.

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