Think about the projects you have coming up in the next few months – taxes, maybe a home improvement or a volunteer project for church or other organization. Did I make you cringe?
I know what I have found lately as I review what I have on my plate is that these big, sometimes unpleasant projects loom on my horizon, and are so overwhelming that I can’t even begin to think about them. When I see it on my task list or see an email related to it, I shiver and have to change my focus quickly.
You know what? It is never going to go away that way, and will just get larger and uglier the more I look at it.
And if there’s a deadline, the closer it gets to the deadline, the worse it will get, right? Suddenly you can’t even breathe for dreading that project.
I realized that while I have done an excellent job of avoiding those projects during my time off, they are still influencing me by hanging over me and always being in the back of my mind. They aren’t going away, I can’t go around them, I just have to go through them.
So that’s when I decided to try a different tactic. Instead of running the other direction, yesterday I took a deep breath.
I took a bite.
That’s right – I tackled the one project that was most objectionable. I didn’t set out to finish it – it’s the kind of thing that will take days to complete. But I did spend a couple of hours starting it – and what relief I felt.
It felt so good to at least have made a little bit of progress on it and know that if I continue taking little bites of it, then before long, I will be finished and can move on with other activities that are actually fun.
Plus, I rewarded myself. I went into it saying that if I worked 2 hours on this one disagreeable project, then I could spend some time doing something that I wanted to do, like read a novel. That idea of reward spurred me on and the time actually went by fast.
And before I knew it, I was reading that novel.