When you look at that pile of papers to be filed, of if you look at the to-do list of 84 things to be done, or the 35 pounds you gained in the last few years, the end of the tunnel seems far away. What we do first, is think about how much time it might take to get it done and it might overwhelm us. It might take me all morning to go through those papers. It’ll take me the whole weekend to get the 84 things done (or even just started). And the 35 pounds aren’t dropping off in possibly less than a year if we do it in a healthy way. The end is not in sight so we don’t even start.
However, every time you pass your desk and see the pile, the sight of it zaps a teeny bit of your energy just knowing it’s there. And when you open your task list to add yet another thing, the original 84 bring on another energy zap. And when we take out that little black dress and it feels snug, even though it’s only been in the closet for 6 months, we feel bad about it. Zap again!!!
Baby Steps That’s the answer. Tell yourself you’re only going to put ONE piece of paper in that pile away. Go do it. It’s just one piece. And it’ll take only 2 minutes. And then you can choose just one task on that list. Or may do 5 so it goes under 80 for the first time in months. And then maybe when you go to add another task, you really won’t want it to let go over 80 again, so maybe you’ll do two more. And when you go downstairs to make coffee, maybe you’ll chose 1% milk instead of the half-and-half you’ve been using. It’s a start.
The long term, time-consuming ideas we envision seem impossible. By taking baby steps the piles go down gradually. The task list gets more approachable. And hey, you might be able to zip up that zipper in a couple of weeks.