If you’re anything like me, you struggle with the number of things that you have to or want to get done on any given day (or week, or month). The thing is, we tend to overestimate the amount of stuff we can get done in a day, but tend to actually underestimate the amount we can do in a longer time period.
And, we get stuck in the “all or nothing” trap.
- If I can’t do this perfectly, I’m just not going to start.
- I don’t have enough time today to finish this project, so I’m going to start tomorrow.
- Ugh. I don’t have the mental bandwidth to think about this right now. I’ll do it later.
Do you see a common pattern to all of these ways of thinking? Yup – shit doesn’t get done.
I fall into this trap all the time. In fact, I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’ve been sabotaging myself with this very thing pretty much every day since I got back from my teacher training. I have this gloriously long list of things that I intend to do for Rebel Yogi, many of which are time sensitive, and most of which are still sitting on my to do list, staring me in the face and inspiring large amounts of guilt every time I push them off.
I know this intellectually – if I could just break these big tasks into small bits and do one thing each day, I would have already accomplished most of what’s on that list. But, because I let myself think about the fact that they are all “big important” things, I psych myself out, and then I do nothing. I give myself an excuse, and I push things until tomorrow, or next week. And then next week the cycle starts all over again.
But what if we could start to train ourselves out of this “all or nothing” mindset?
What if, instead of looking at the big, important things that we want to accomplish and allowing the mental chatter to overwhelm us, we simply looked for the one small first step we can take. What if we took that step, no excuses? And what if we allowed ourselves to feel accomplishment around that small step instead of guilt around procrastination?
My guess is that we would all accomplish a whole lot more than we are now, and be much more relaxed in the process.
So what’s the balance? How can we start to convince our inner critic that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, that giving ourselves permission to “do something” is just as important, if not more?
What’s the first small step you can take today?
Now go do it.