Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by the thought of doing something that you just avoided it or gave up altogether? That definitely has been me many times. Recently though, I was able to accomplish something that I never thought I’d finish, and it felt euphoric once it was done! I figured I’d share how I tackled things to maybe inspire you to revisit something that has you pretty anxious and GET IT DONE!
The task I had to do was clean out my garage to make room for my car. I had just sold my mom’s house (after cleaning that out and planning an Estate Sale) and was storing many items from that house in the garage so my car could no longer fit (note that I already had a storage unit full as well, so that was not an option). Imagine staring at a huge pile of stuff filling your ENTIRE garage. Typically, I’d meltdown and ignore things because it was so overwhelming to me. Plus I was already exhausted from all the steps I had to take to get the house sold in the first place. And at first, melt down was what I did. However, the main thing I did NEXT that was the key to completing this task was to BREAK IT DOWN into smaller, manageable steps.
I thought, what little things do I need to do in order to clear out the space? I needed to inventory what was there and decide if I was keeping it or not and if keeping, where should it go? I decided that spending a little time each week doing this instead of trying to do it in one shot was the best way to approach it as it did not seem so impossible that way. I also set some mini-deadlines for myself to make sure I stayed on track, because it was easy to prioritize something else I had to do above this each week to avoid an unpleasant task. (I know you do that too!)
Celebrate your small victories. The world was not built in a day, and this task was not done in a day. It actually took me 7 months, but it was done! Each time I saw a little more space in that garage, it motivated me to keep going. It’s like dieting: in the beginning it’s the hardest, but once you start seeing those results, it keeps you going because you know your efforts are working!
There were several things I had to donate or dispose of and others that I had a chance to find room for in my house, but it all started coming together. I originally had targeted the end of October to complete the task, but some things came up and it ended up being done in December. My main motivator at that point was getting it done before the weather turned really cold (which would make spending time in the garage that much more unpleasant!) But the takeaway here is that it did GET DONE.
So to sum it up:
Break it down. Take that task and separate it into smaller, more manageable steps.
Set deadlines. Make mini-deadlines along the way and hold yourself accountable! If curveballs come your way (they often do), just make the appropriate adjustments and keep going. The worst thing you can do is let a setback frustrate you so much that you give up trying. Did I mention that my project took 7 MONTHS to finish?
Celebrate those victories! When you meet one of those deadlines, celebrate getting a little closer to tackling that task.
Remember, no matter how overwhelming something feels, it is not impossible. Just focus on one task at a time and it will slowly come together. Make 2018 the year you tackle those challenges – trust me, you’ll feel so much better that you did!