With all due respect to Nike, sometimes “Just Do It” is easier said than done. Often (and more often than I’d like to admit) when I’m facing a big project, my gut reaction is to shut down, stare into space and deeply, deeply panic. Not so useful.
Years ago, when I moved into my first condo, my Mom came out to help me get moved in. I signed the papers, the movers brought the boxes in and, faced with unpacking everything and putting it away in my brand new space, I very quietly freaked the hell out.
Well, thank goodness for mothers. Mine in particular. She broke down a system for me that has continued to help me ever since. Here it is, straight from the genius of Mama Krawczyk.
Step 1. Make a decision. Even if you’re not sure how you’re going to do it, you know what you need to do right? So start with making the decision to do it. At this point, you don’t need to have a plan, you just need to decide that somehow, someway you’re going to do it.
Step 2. Set goals. Generally, it tends to be best if these goals are of the deadline variety. In the case of the moving into my condo, a good goal might be: “I’m going to have unpacked everything for the kitchen by tomorrow afternoon.” Again, how you’re going to do it is not yet important.
Step 3. Get your resources together. Gather everything you’d need to get the job done. For moving in, we’re probably talking about paper towels and cleaning supplies. For something like creating your print portfolio, we’re talking about files for the samples you’ll use, a printer with ink and a scissors and ruler.
Step 4. Create a plan of action: A miniature-step plan of action. Now, write down everything you have to do, but break it down into the tiniest possible steps you can. For moving in, my steps were things like: “Find the kitchen boxes. Open the kitchen boxes. Choose which box to unpack first. Unpack items. Throwaway packing newspaper.” We’re talking tiny steps here. The key is to make them so small that they’re easy to do and then cross off your list.
Step 5. Attack the first tiny step. All you have to do here is go through your plan one step at a time; don’t even think about the next step. Eventually, crossing off these tiny steps will accomplish some big things and you’ll get some momentum going.
And that’s the magic of working your way out of feeling utterly overwhelmed. Soooo, now that you know the secrets, what are you going to work on? What are you going to decide to do for your Step 1? Let us know in the comments!