I often see people start tackling one huge project; only to quickly find that the enormity of the project paralyzes them so they do nothing. This came to light with a recent incident in my household. It has to do with my daughter and her teenage bedroom.
Away at camps for a good portion of the summer; she was thinking about all the changes she wanted to do with her bedroom. I should mention that her closet is filled to the brim with stuff … lots and lots of girl stuff. This is her hiding place to stuff things so her room has the appearance of neatness on the surface. Her dresser, side table and desk drawers are in the same condition and let’s not forget under her bed. I’m sure no one else has a child that does this!
She came home from camp and decided at 3:00 pm in the afternoon all of her furniture needed to be moved to it’s new location she had been dreaming about. She quickly got frustrated realizing she first had to clean-out all of her hiding areas so she could actually move the furniture. This wasn’t part of her plan. Neither did she take into consideration the amount of time she needed to pack away some her treasured items.
With tears of frustration I heard about her glorious plans, the enormity of the task and since it couldn’t be done in one afternoon she was pitching the entire idea out the window. I know she’s has been thinking about reorganizing her room for a while so I know this means a lot to her.
So, I asked for her to take me to her room so she could show me her problems. She first started pointing to packing away her little girls things and make room for big girl things. She has Madame Alexander and American Girl dolls all over the place. She’s a dancer and has at least 25 recital outfits jammed into her closet and that was just the start of the items taking up a lot of space. She’s a pack rat at heart!
What I explained to her is that she needs to chunk down the huge task of redecorating her room into manageable small tasks. I explained to her that if she worked on one 30-45 minute task a day for the next 10 days she would have it completed in no time. Instead she was trying to cram 10 days of activity into one afternoon. So, we worked on establishing a schedule for the next 3 days as a start.
How often we approach a task or a project with the unrealistic idea of completing it in one sitting. What I often do is chunk it down into smaller increments. For me, I need to determine if it needs a big chunk of time like cleaning out the garage. Or can I can get it completed in smaller chunks of time like signing and addressing Christmas Cards. With small bits of time, I find that I can find 10 minutes here or 15 minutes there and can get it done much quicker than trying to find 2 hours in my schedule (during the holidays!) to do it in one sitting.
So, with my daughter that evening having a focus and a game plan; we packed away the Madame Alexander dolls and she immediately felt better that one area of her room was clean.
Debbi Dickinson is a professional woman who knows the struggles of integrating different aspects of
your life. Using her own life as living proof that extraordinary choices lead to an amazing life, she helps
other women do the same. She empowers other professional women not to compromise to live an
extraordinary life. For additional information, please join her at www.steppingintojoy.com