Recently, I was traveling with a friend and she shared a bit of wisdom that has stayed with me. It’s what I’ve been thinking about in my free time and helped me gain perspective on something I’ve been struggling with for a while. She was telling me about how she’s been burned out with an area of her life – a necessary area of her life – and she realized she had to make a plan to work on things a little each day. She told me, “I knew it wasn’t my best work, I knew my heart wasn’t in it. But I kept going because I knew I needed to. And I’m glad I did, because now I’m in a much better place and my work has improved.”
I couldn’t believe it – it was exactly what I been struggling with too! I love spending time writing, but lately my results and readership have exploded (I know, #firstworldproblems) and I felt like I needed to share that perfect post with the world – I mean it’s what 10,000 people per month are expecting. And it was overwhelming, I mean what do you say to a crowd that big?
You can’t wait for things to be perfect. You have to start somewhere.
Make a little progress each day.
I realized I’d let things pile up for too long. There were a lot of “puttering” tasks that I needed to get done to free my mind to be ready to write. So, I spent one day just powering through to figure out what I needed to do so I was ready to do what I wanted to do. It took about two hours and it was worth it, I could feel my stress level reducing with everything I marked off my list. How about you? Are you putting off something you enjoy because of the junk that’s getting in the way? I challenge you to do something right now – even if it’s small – to get closer to your goal.
Schedule time to do what you love.
I know that I’m a scheduler. And the only way I’m going to beat my Netflix Binge Watching problem is to schedule purposeful time in my week to spend time productively. So I did. One night a week, I spend time away from the TV and focused on writing and getting things done. I don’t have to feel guilty if I can’t do it any other time – because I know that my Tuesday evening is going to be productively focused on what I want to do. I even made a deal with my Husband that if we needed to, we could order take-out to make sure we gave ourselves the time we needed (because he set this goal for himself too). And it’s worked! Every week since we made the goal, I’ve spent my evening reaching my goals. How about you? Are you spending too much time with things that are draining your energy? I challenge you to schedule time each week to do the things you love. You are important. What you love is important. Do things that will help you get closer to what you love.
Enlist the help of others that you trust.
For the first time since we’ve been married, my husband and I set yearly goals together. It was awesome. I got to see what he wanted to accomplish and was able to share a few, key things that I really wanted to do. And because we said them out loud – and many of them we’re doing together – we’re both more focused on reaching our goals. Win, win, win. How about you? Do you have someone who you can share your goals with? I challenge you to make realistic goals and share them with someone you care about. Saying them out loud to this accountability partner will make you much more likely to accomplish your goals.
This post isn’t perfect and it isn’t my best work. But I’m glad I did it – I’m glad I listened to my friend to regain perspective on what I really needed to do. I needed to make progress and I had to start somewhere. You – and I – can’t wait for things to be perfect. The fact that we’re starting is good enough, and I’m thankful for that.
[…] of trying to complete a large, confusing project at once, I regularly carve out a little time to complete one thing. Why this micro-change mattered: I have a lot of projects that take time to figure out what needs […]
[…] Give some needed attention to the big projects in your life, but instead of thinking of the whole thing – think about “cheating” and break it down into tiny bits. Seriously, the smaller, the better. You projects will seem like a small, reasonable item to accomplish and you’ll be more likely to make it happen. Remember, progress, not perfection. […]