How to tackle overwhelming projects


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Photo Credit: pom.angers Flickr via Compfight cc.
Some days feel like floodwaters that are out of control. 

Do you ever look at your tasks and goals and feel completely overwhelmed? I do, in all parts of my life. Right now I’m looking around the colossal mess that is my house: the dishes need to be done, the counter needs to be de-cluttered, and I have all sorts of stuff on the steps that I need to take upstairs and put into proper locations. The floors need to be cleaned, the clothes need to be put away, etc., etc., etc. Aaaargh!

And that’s just my house. I feel the same way about work — I’m not keeping my head above water whatsoever.

And the same goes for my writing. I’m working on the Camilla Hall manuscript and feel totally, completely overwhelmed. It’s at 80,000 words and I have thousands and thousands and thousands of more words in notes that may or may not make their way into a second draft.

I recently attended a workshop that is helping me shift my thinking. It was literally a “shift” workshop, given by my friend Melanie J. Williams. We started by picking an issue in our lives that is important to us, something we want to work on. I won’t go into specifics, but basically the gist was to break one big task into smaller, more manageable tasks. Complete a little task, and then move on to the next one.

I know, it sounds so simple! Like logically we know to do this, right? But how often we forget! How often we look at the big picture and feel like we have to take care of the whole big problem right away! It’s so easy for our emotions to overwhelm us and to forget that logical part of our brain. At least for me, emotions have always dominated logical reasoning.

Shifting my thinking is helping me today, not only here at home but also with my writing. I worked on one little chapter this morning, literally writing only about three new sentences. But it was something.

Now I should go clean…