At this time of year the focus is on the big picture, the dreams, the plans, the goals and the aspirations. These things are important, but sometimes finding time to dream and plan can seem too hard in the reality of every day.
Like you, I have a house to keep tidy and clutter to get rid of. I have a garden to maintain, letters to write, appointments to make, bills to pay. In other words the every day tasks of life.
But sometimes I look at everything I have got that I could possibly do, and I get paralysed. I can’t make a decision. I can’t start anything because I feel so overwhelmed by everything.
Or I look at the task, and the available time to get it done. When I realise I can’t finish, I curl up in a ball and will my to-do-list to go away. Finally my mind gets involved and I beat myself up about the fact that “nothing gets done”.
It’s a viscous cycle. Feeling overwhelmed leads to inaction and paralysis, which leads to self-negativity. And meanwhile my list of things to do continues to grow.
Yet, there is beauty in recognising a tendency in yourself. By naming a problem, you can strategically combat it. And my strategy is surprisingly simple.
Just do something! Start small. Celebrate what you achieve.
No, it’s not rocket science, but it has been incredibly effective for me.
And here are some other simple things that help:
- Make a list. Sometimes the list in your head is more convoluted than you thought. Getting it out on paper helps you realise that.
- Put the timer on for five minutes and don’t leave a room (or a task) until the timer has gone off. It is amazing how much you can do in that time.
- Make the task manageable, (ie. clear clutter from one space, such as your bedside table). One clear space inspires you to keep going.
- Create a “getting things” done playlist. I find it amazing how much music motivates me to action.
- Understand that sometimes things won’t get finished and give yourself a break.
- Create a little celebration for a task completed. For example, a cup of tea, a phone chat with a girl-friend etc.
These are just some ideas of little ways to tackle the minutiae of everyday. And I have found that by tackling the small things, you gain mental space to dream the big dreams.
Here’s to less paralysis and more space in 2015,