How to remain productive when you become overwhelmed.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed in today’s world of always-on connectivity. Family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and customers have instant access to us and often expect an immediate response.
I came across an interesting YouTube video about how to remain productive when you become overwhelmed. In the short (4:26) video, Charles Duhigg, author of “Smarter Faster Better”, provides an inside view of how Captain Richard de Crespigny on November 12, 2010, successfully landed a heavily damaged plane that would later be described as one of the worst mechanical malfunctions in modern aviation.
Duhigg identifies that the only mistake the captain could have done was to stop making decisions, to stop thinking. Often times when we’re overwhelmed by information and requests, coming from all directions, the easiest thing to do is to stop making choices.
Choices…at first, I thought that he meant ‘decisions’ yet used the wrong word by mistake.
Then, he goes on to say,  “the people who are productive, they’re the ones who encouraged themselves to make choices, who find some story they can tell themselves to decide this is worth paying attention to, and this one I can ignore for later. And when you can do that, that’s when you’re in charge of your focus.
This statement made his use of the word ‘choice’ come alive for me – to think about how we can create options by visualizing a simpler, higher level version of how to achieve the goal. This filters out the noise and complexity that often overwhelms us to the point of checking out.
I think ‘story’ that Duhigg is referring to is born from our ‘why statement’. Check out a prior post on that here
Watch Charles Duhigg’s video on how the pilot of Quantas Flight #32 used this approach to successfully land the plane whose 22 of 24 major systems failed.