In life and business we often have multiple things going on at the same time and it can be confusing to focus our efforts in the mix of competing demands. Like many of you, I have been in that situation and find myself pulled in multiple directions for a day or two. That is normal. One way to limit your stress is to list in your mind what is absolutely essential for that day and then think of a bonus everything else that also gets done. Try not to be everything to everyone, just focus on what is the most absolutely necessary for that day and add to it once your core objectives are completed.
We often think that the more we do and the harder we work is going to make us productive. I've see it...people in places I've worked....look busy and hurried to show their worth to society. Thus, how you view yourself is an important consideration in the overall process of getting to understand why you are running like a hamster on a hamster will.
Once you realized that your essential skills lay in certain areas and your value as a while person has little or nothing to do with the amount of "busy work" you put in your work life you will have a better grasp of what is important and what isn't.
Thus...when you are feeling stressed with all the things you do make three quick assessments:
1. What MUST I get done today?
2. Is it essential or is does it relate to my personal beliefs about my own value.
3. Is there a way to delegate some of the tasks to focus on my essential strengths.
Yikes! I forgot about working toward your strengths. Some people are good at some things and some people are good at other things. To maximize our time we may want to consider focusing on those things we do well. That doesn't mean ignoring and not understanding other non-essential tasks. What it does mean is that after we understand and have working knowledge of those tasks we should reduce, delegate, and 3rd party our non-essential tasks and skills that we are not good at or waste our time doing.
That brings up the point on specialization. Much of our economy has moved into specialization as a method focus on skill development. It is true that if you want to be successful you will want to be the best at something. While being good at most things is helpful there is much more benefit to the modern economy to be the best in your field. Thus, specialization works best in a wider context of skills to draw on.
We know that things aren't going to work out as planned. Recently, I was moving some stuff and trying to get coordinated in a workshop. There was so much to do that it could be difficult to get it all done. Then I said to myself, "Why are you doing things that aren't needed at the moment?" What I found was that essential and non-essential tasks are all jumbled up because of the way we think and therefore we can break off the non-essential parts to focus on whats important, ensure its not personality driven, and that maximizes our potential.