Three Little Things: Taking the First Step

Sometimes things seem overwhelming. You’ve got a lot on your plate, there’s too much to do, and there’s never enough time. Everyone wants everything Right Now. You’re feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed, and you just don’t know where to start.

Here are three little things to help you bust that logjam and get moving again.

1. Pick a big, hairy, scary job, project, assignment, whatever, and rip it apart. Break it into smaller, more manageable pieces. Go as small as you need to to feel like you’ve got something you can do. (A lot of times we freeze up because we don’t really know how bit a problem is until we dig into it like this.)

2. Find one of the small pieces that you can handle and tackle it. Look for something you like to do or are good at, because you’ll likely either find it easy or be successful–or both. Now look for a second small bit and tackle that one. Keep on going until you’ve got some the small bits done.

3. Look for middle-sized bits. You may be able to tackle these, or you may need to break these down into smaller pieces. The idea is to keep nibbling away at the problem until you’ve knocked a chunk of it away. Suddenly, it won’t seem so big, hairy and scary any more.

If you’re really stuck, and I mean really–so frozen up you can’t make even the tiniest first step–get help. Find a coach or mentor, look for motivation from outside, seek out a subject matter expert who’s willing to educate you. Only you can figure out what it is you need, but once you get unstuck, oh, the places you’ll go!

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