Thursday, August 25, 2011

Little Pieces

There are some tasks that are just too big to be contemplated at once.  Well, at least for me.

I'm the type of person who gets easily overwhelmed.  I still remember when we moved into our current house.  Instead of taking them to the proper room, the movers stacked most of our boxes in a big box mountain in a single room.  We called it Mt. Boxmore.  I hated that pile.  Take one box off, and it still seemed like it hadn't been touched.  It took a long time and a lot of help to get that pile unpacked.  I still hadn't learned how to focus on the little pieces.

Oddly enough, though, I had unconsciously started my writing process in just that way.  I don't know how most writers work, but I start a new file for each chapter.  Only when I am finished do I combine that chapter into one file with all the rest.  I didn't think about why I did this, but it makes so much sense to me now.  If I tried to write everything in one big file, I would get too overwhelmed.  I know I can finish a chapter.  It is a small goal, an accomplishment I can feel good about during the greater process.  It keeps my book from feeling like Mt. Boxmore.

I'm finally started to actively apply that to my life in other ways.  I organized my pantry one shelf at a time.  I set small goals that I know I can complete.  It sounds SO very simple, but it isn't.  When you are a perfectionist, it is a struggle to turn off the part of your brain that says you should be able to do everything at once (and do it well).  But finally, I'm learning to celebrate the small steps.

Thank goodness for little pieces!

1 comment:

  1. This makes a LOT of sense to me. I have a "one thing a day" calendar-based to do list that keeps me moving along with little baby steps. For example, in January I completely sorted through my closet one shelf at a time. It made the project doable -- and I also get a sticker whenever I do what is on my calendar. :) Anyway, I get it.