You walk into a room and look around. Wow, there’s a lot to do. You don’t know where to begin. You feel an ache in your stomach. It’s hopeless. You walk out of the room. You’re disgusted with yourself and the situation.
There’s a project you’ve been meaning to do for ages now. You have set aside yet another afternoon to finally get it done. But there’s so much to do on this project. Where do you start? Besides, it’s probably going to take more than just one afternoon anyway. Maybe you need to set aside a whole day to do it. Oh well, maybe you’ll tackle it next weekend.
We are all unique people and what we find overwhelming varies from one person to the next. Maybe you get overwhelmed dealing with the details involved in planning a party or some other event. Maybe you feel overwhelmed when faced with all of the decisions involved in decluttering your home. Maybe you feel overwhelmed trying to get all of your to-dos crossed off your list.
How you handle yourself when faced with these overwhelming situations is the key to success.
Here are four strategies that will help you create a plan for these big overwhelming projects so that you can finally tackle them with confidence and ease.
1. Give yourself a physical place to work.
Not surprisingly, I work with a lot of my clients on decluttering. The first thing we do is to create a space to work in. That may mean clearing off a table, a counter, a desk or a bed. You don’t necessarily have to put those things away just create a space so that you can focus on one thing at a time.
2. Give yourself the mental space to work.
Eliminate distractions. Shut your cell phone. Turn off email. Shut your blackberry. Send the kids and dog outside.
3. Break the project up into steps.
Even though these types of overwhelming projects often end up as a single line on a to-do list, they generally involve more then one step.
Break the project into multiple steps and give yourself permission to focus on only one step at a time. Instead of the overwhelming task of “organize office”, define the things that need to be done. For instance, step one may be “handle the things on the right corner of the desk” or “gather the papers on the floor into a single pile”.
4. Do something, anything.
Carrie Greene is a Coach, Professional Organizer and Decluttering Expert. When you work with Carrie to learn how to get organized, set your priorities and get your projects done, you will stop procrastinating, start crossing things off your to-do list. The best part is that when you get rid of clutter you’ll find your life. You know, the life that your clutter is currently hiding.
Doing nothing will leave you in the same situation that you are in now. Often the act of doing something will help break the cycle of hopelessness and give you the push to get moving.
These four steps will help you create a plan. The project as a whole may still look big and overwhelming but the little steps you define are doable and more importantly approachable. As the smaller steps get done the bigger project gets done as if by magic.