Do you feel overwhelmed or that you’re procrastinating on something that you know you need to do? Many of us get overwhelmed because we don’t break our projects or tasks down into small enough pieces. There’s actually research around this and I have a very powerful, simple question you can ask yourself to coach yourself past procrastination and overwhelm.
Before I ask you the question, I want you to pause. Take a deep breath. Remind yourself that there is power in pausing. It slows you down and gives you a chance to reign in those rapid, stressful thoughts of overwhelm. The key to melting the feeling of overwhelm is taking control of what you can control and trusting the process of getting to the rest. With that in mind, answer this question:
What one small step would enable you to make progress today?
Sometimes we feel like what we have to do is so big, and we feel like we have to do it all at once. As a result, we fall into the trap of insisting we don’t have enough time. We come to believe that getting started is more complicated than it really is.
Research actually shows that when you break things down into small chunks, taking small steps and then returning later to continue, actually energizes you. It jumpstarts your progress. So, what is the small thing you could do that would jumpstart your progress? Perhaps you only do that one thing today, and then maybe a day from now, a week from now, you come back to it. When you come back to something, your mind is fresh. You can see what is good and what adjustments need to be made. You see your progress as a process, not just a destination. And that feels less overwhelming. It becomes more joyful. The process doesn’t just become about getting it done, it becomes about moving towards it. It becomes about the journey. You get to enjoy it.
So before you move on from this post, I want you to answer that simple question: What one small step would enable you to make progress today? Write it down, then go do it – with less stress and more joy.