Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Take Small Steps

Taking small steps towards a larger goal seems to have been my theme this week.

My focus on small steps comes because of my studies. I've just finished my first group of subjects and packed everything up to mail off. As I was chatting with one of the teachers yesterday, she said "well, you're quarter of the way through". Yes....I guess I am. And there's something terribly satisfying about realising I've achieved that small milestone. It is something I celebrate ~ even if only in my own ability to feel satisfied! Only to enroll in the next group and start the process all over again LOL.

I had another conversation with one of my daughter's teachers yesterday, where she mentioned a massive stock-take type of task that she must do. I felt overwhelmed at the very thought of what she described and suggested that perhaps she could take it in smaller chunks. By storage sections, or the type of equipment, or by time alternate staff meeting weeks so that on the opposite week she just spend that same period of time doing this task. All of a sudden this amazing young woman looked brighter at the prospect of what she needed to accomplish. Small chunks would get the job done and she wouldn't feel quite so burdened and overwhelmed with the whole thing.

We use 'small steps' with all kinds of things in our home too. When Mr Busy's room gets mind-bogglingly messy, I tell him to just go and pick up all the cars off his floor and put them away. When he comes back, having finished that, I send him off to find all the Lego and put that away. Then it might be the clothing that hasn't been put away. Eventually we see the floor, but to look at the whole task seems like climbing Mt Everest. I use this idea with all the kids and their homework. The girls, particularly, need to manage their time and tasks wisely. We look at when things are due, think about how long they're likely to take and work back from there as to how much of which subjects must be addressed. They never hand in anything late. Mind you, I think the idea of being late would send them into a tizzy! They're too diligent!

Do you have an insurmountable task that you feel paralysed over? I bet you can find a way to break it down into smaller portions that can be accomplished. You know what they say: Success breads success. If you feel like you've succeeded in completing a small goal, you'll be more likely to keep plodding through....and eventually end up having completely the whole thing.


Left-Handed Housewife said...

I recently heard the phrase "eating the elephant one bite at a time" to describe tackling big projects in small steps. I try to break things down, too--in fact, when I'm cleaning Will's room, I make myself stop after twenty minutes or so--otherwise I'd get totally overwhelmed by it.


Tracy said...

I completely understand that Frances! I elected to stay out of the room-cleaning effort for Miss Mischief last week. I would've just felt really angry about that situation so I let dh deal with it.

Julie said...

Sometimes it actually helps me just to tell myself I will only spend 15 minutes. I generally set a timer and away I go. If I am enjoying myself though, or getting into a task when the timer goes off, I will keep going... It is usually that initial mindset/ obstacle that I need to overcome.

Tracy said...

Julie: if it's something I didn't want to do and it was workable, that would be another great way to tackle a task.