Drinking From a Firehose
I have a problem. I get an idea in my head and get SO excited about it and then--after I've committed to it--realize how much I don't know and how big of a task it is. Anyone else with me??
My second problem: I REALLY like to get everything done as quickly as possible. That gargantuan task? I want it done in two days. Because I know how amazing it's going to feel when it's finished! So I am constantly tempted to rush and overload myself just so I can get to the end point and check it off my list. It's like drinking from a fire hose.
The real problem? It can't be done. I mean, for small projects? Yes, absolutely. It's fairly easy to quickly watch a youtube video on painting trim and then jump in and do it. But to learn how to market a book correctly? In an ever changing market? Not a two day job. Not even a two month job. And...there's not really an endpoint. Ever. So, I've been learning how to better estimate and anticipate the timeline for my projects. If I subconsciously decide on an unrealistic timeline, I am really disappointed and frustrated when I can't make it happen. But if I sit down with myself and rationally make a plan? No disappointment!
And here's the most important part: the success of the plan canNOT be based on factors outside of my control. It has to be a realistic, effort-graded plan. As I've set up small tasks for me to complete daily, I get the satisfaction of 'checking it off the list' like I love, I get to see gradual results from my efforts, AND I get to find joy and excitement in the journey instead of only at the end point.
Do you have any huge, overwhelming projects you'd like to tackle? Or something you'd like to learn that seems impossibly time-consuming? I highly recommend this process:
Define the goal (be as specific as possible)
Determine how much time you can realistically spend on the goal (it's okay if it's even just 5 minutes!)
Find a task that will lead to the end goal that fits within your timeframe (be realistic)
Consistently perform the task each day.
Move on to a new task if the timeframe changes or the first task is completed!
For me, this looks like:
Goal: Learn how to market my books
Timeframe: 10 minutes a day
Task: Three days a week, read an article or watch a video on marketing. Two days a week, put something I learned into practice.
If you miss a day? No worries. This is your goal and you can decide how long it takes to meet it. Enjoy the journey!! Small, consistent efforts will get you there faster than you think and will hopefully make you feel less overwhelmed in the process!