A friend of mine recently described what I think is a nicely powerful metaphor: the blank screen day. It’s when you know you have a million things to work on but you can’t figure out how which task you’d like to start with, and you sit around indecisively as you try to prioritize.
In my case, that happens when I’m not particularly excited about any of the tasks I need to do, or when they seem too overwhelming, or when I’m not sure how to break them down into smaller, more accomplishable pieces. I can end up wasting a frightening amount of time when this happens, flitting halfheartedly from one task to the other without a clear plan of attack. The antidote is decisive action — because it’s better to get a few things done well than to get nothing done entirely — but that’s easier said than done.
Still, it helps to have a name for it, right? Forewarned is forearmed, and all that.
Do you have blank screen days?