I see it all the time, the “projects that never get done” phenomenon. They can come in so many forms: the pile of photos that need sorting, the kid’s room that you’ve wanted to change into a guest room for years and years, even our cars can get cluttered and overridden with random stuff.
What’s frustrating about these projects is that they elicit such palpable, real feelings from us every time we see it or even think about it. Maybe it even feels like it’s a big ol energy drain.
That’s because it is.
And here’s why.
What we are thinking about is literally where our energy goes. And that includes our subconscious thinking. In other words, everything we are thinking, known and all the background noise, is then telling us how to feel in every moment. First thought, then emotion. It’s a chemical reaction that happens in us a bazillion times a day.
Now think about that project you haven’t finished or haven’t even started. Immediately, without even lifting a finger, your energy likely dips down into emotions that I call “low vibe”; guilt frustration, overwhelm, anger, anxiousness, etc. Now your system is flooded with these emotions and the chances of you gettin’ after that guest room? No. Way. You have no energy for it, literally!
Here’s a way to hijack your energy back; the “break it down” method!
I have trial tested this method countless times and I’m telling you, it works.
Step 1: Think about one project you want to complete that you haven’t been able to get done, one where you really feel blocked. Just think about it and let whatever emotions come up and then settle down. This may take a sec.
Step 2: Think about the project (and if it helps, write this part out) and think about what ONE TEENY TINY THING you can do to move this task forward? What I’m asking you to do here is to get really granular, maybe even a little ridiculous or silly. If that one teeny tiny thing STILL brings up a low vibe emotion, let your mind come up with an even smaller, even tinier next step.
Step 3: Take that one little teeny tiny step/action and then leave it be. See how you feel and check in with yourself! You moved the project forward! Believe me, all these teeny tiny steps do add up.
The next step is to keep taking the next step.
What we’re after here is one of my favorite concepts ever: MOMENTUM. When we’re not in flow, when we have zero momentum, it’s like pushing a wheel barrel loaded with rocks up a hill. Momentum, though, helps level things out and when we get enough momentum going, we start to come down the other side of that hill and that’s when things (projects/tasks) really get rolling.
Let me give you a real life example. (Something I really don’t want to do):
CALL AT&T and find out why I have two phone bills, same phone number but with two different account numbers. The emotions that come up when I think about this are frustration, exasperation and anger. I have already called them, got hung up on (disconnected), and got nowhere. Twice. Basically, I have very strong not so awesome feelings about AT&T’s right now.
Now that the emotions are out of the way, I have some space to think about what one teeny tiny step I can take.
I decide I’m simply going to take my TWO bills out, put them in a new manila folder that I name “AT&T, sort this shit out!”, I’ll add a “heart” after “sort out” and then I’m going to schedule, in my calendar, a time to call them. I am going to give myself 15 minutes to make the call and complete the call.
That was multiple teeny tiny steps but I was really feeling the momentum, people.
I’ll let you know how the phone call goes in my newsletter next month! No more to do for now. I’m in flow and that’s where I want to stay. High vibe emotions get projects done.
My point is this. Every task, large, medium and small, can be broken down into smaller and smaller steps. When you take the itty bitty one step forward, IT WILL FEEL GOOD and that’s when you’ve created momentum and that’s what will keep those hard projects moving forward.