SO getting started . . .
While I’ve been wanting to blog for a long time, and I’ve been waiting for the website and blog design to be completed, now that the time is here, I find getting started to be the hardest part. Sitting here, I realize, that this is actually a lot like the way my clients feel when they call me for organizing help: overwhelmed, stuck, fear of doing it wrong, Scarlett O’Hara-ish (“I’ll think about it tomorrow”)…
In fact, I was speaking with a friend yesterday and she was telling me that her son spent half an hour procrastinating on his homework and that she was exasperated. When I asked about the assignment, it was clear to me that his procrastination came from feeling overwhelmed. The assignment sounded large: find all the nouns, adjectives, and verbs in three chapters of Spanish. He couldn’t even see where or how to begin, so he didn’t. How many of you have felt this way over tackling a project?
Sometimes my clients aren’t even aware that it’s the “not knowing where to begin” that’s holding them back and making them feel incapable in spite of their good intentions. And, that this feeling is more common than they realize. What overwhelms one person may not be a big deal to another; some people handle little everyday stresses in stride and get overwhelmed by life’s bigger problems, while other people handle the big stuff in stride and collapse over seemingly mundane problems. Running out of milk may be no big deal to some and to others it can start the whole day off poorly. Likewise a flooded basement could throw some off the deep end, where some see it as an opportunity for a home improvement.
When confronted with a roomful of clutter or a mound full of papers, the “where to begin” can be difficult to see. When I mentioned this to my girlfriend as a visual to how her son may “see” his homework she said her son would stand in the middle of a clutter-filled room and just move things around within the room, not really accomplishing very much. Many of my clients have said they’ve done the same thing when trying to tackle organizing themselves. The objectivity I bring to the project is difficult to achieve on your own, and I help my clients “see” where to begin and how to take the first step.
SO…how to get started on your own daunting project? I could tell you to break a large project into smaller pieces and handle one piece at a time. But for someone who doesn’t “see” the pieces this advice is meaningless. My advice is to ask yourself “What’s one thing that I can do?” It doesn’t really matter what that one thing is: a phone call, making a list, throwing something away…or for my friend’s son finding just the people in only the first chapter to start…now that he could get do! You’ll find once you get started on one thing the second thing (whatever that may be) seems easier…the hardest part is just getting started.
What are some things that stop you from getting started on things? I invite your comments…