I am in the process of putting something together that is really challenging for me. Partly because I’ve tried this before, and failed. Partly because it’s really important to me. I know I tend to procrastinate when I feel stuck and overwhelmed, and I do feel stuck and overwhelmed right now. To help myself through the procrastination, I’ve set up a deadline, and this deadline doesn’t allow for a lot of procrastination.
It really does help me to get through it all.
There are 3 other things that help me get through it, and to complete what I need to do in the best possible way. Martha Beck calls them the 3 B’s. Others don’t have a competing phrase for this, but in my years of managing, coaching and facilitating, I’ve never found more than these 3 things. And yes!, I am applying them to my own challenge.
- Chunk the work into bite-sized pieces. Anything will feel overwhelming if there a million steps in it, and it becomes less overwhelming as these steps are isolated and viewed on their own. I remember someone who had to begin by making each step really small – first day, place notebook on table; second day, open notebook; third day, sign in; fourth day, read 10 emails. Within a month, by accomplishing these tiny steps daily, this person was fully back in business. Each step, once accomplished, eventually adds up to the entire task accomplished.
- Delegate. During the process of reviewing each small step, there will probably be a number of them that you can give to someone else to do – an accountant, a VA, a graphic designer, a coach. It will almost certainly have a cost, so the key question is whether the cost is warranted against having to do the task yourself. What a relief it is when I can delegate chunks of work to others. I am really grateful these others are there and can help. One caution: make sure you know and trust the people you delegate tasks to. It may require an added process of interviewing and trying a few people before you find the right one.
- Make it worth your time. If you have sub-tasks that you aren’t looking forward to doing, and you aren’t able to either pass it to someone else or make it smaller, then find a way to make it worth your time by rewarding yourself with something that gives you joy. It might be a relaxing bath, or a calming tea, or a good escape novel. Something you know you’ll enjoy, and can enjoy guilt-free, once you’ve completed the task.
Those are 3 strategies, and together, they move you from not started to completed.
There is something else. You might call it a 4th thing, but really it pertains to all three strategies I’ve just given you. The 4th thing is to begin it: pick up that pen, or open that computer, or get that mop out, and begin.
By beginning, you start the movement forward, and give yourself a chance to get to the finish line.
This January 8th, I’m running an online workshop on setting intentions that work. If you’re interested, sign up!
How to discover your why in difficult times
Quote of the Week
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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