While in COVID quarantine, with the days blending together and no end in sight, it became really easy to start saying “I can do it later.” Born first out of necessity and self-preservation in the overwhelm, it sustained itself through laziness and lack of structured days. Why rush to finish anything when there’s no deadline on the horizon? Who cares if that shelf isn’t hung if nobody’s coming to the house?
What you can’t see is time still steadily moving past you. When you’re with your kids all day every day, you don’t notice the little changes in their growth, the figurative and literal baby steps as they become older, bigger, wiser little humans.
Life didn’t stop when COVID came into town, time just keeps on ticking along. It’s dangerous to put plans on hold, to say “I can do it later” to everything in our lives, because of what’s happening out in the world. Because as we’ve seen, the world can quickly shift from one crisis to another without blinking, and without waiting for you to finish your projects.
If you’re overwhelmed and having trouble taking that first baby step, here are a couple of tips for making projects easier to handle:
Break the project down into doable steps.
Want to hang a shelf? Here are a couple of ways to break down the steps: Decide where you want to hang it. Determine your style (hello, reason to surf Pinterest). Buy the brackets. Hang the brackets. Buy the wood. Stain/paint the wood. Hang the brackets. Attach the wood to the brackets. Load that sucker down with tchotchkes. (I’m currently stuck on the “buy the wood” stage, if you’re keeping score at home.)
Want to fill your walls with family photos? Search for and hire a professional (5 tips on how to do that are included in that link). Get yourself and your family ready. Show up on time and ready to go. Have a great time. Choose the photos you want to have hanging on your walls. Hang the photos when they arrive (this is simpler if you order canvases, because then there’s no framing step).
Give yourself a deadline. In the absence of outside deadlines, give yourself a schedule to complete each task on the list, in order to finish your project.
Don’t plan to do all of the steps in one day. That’s overwhelming and a good way to just not do anything. Take the first step right now – or after this paragraph – and complete it. Get up and decide where that shelf should go. Or open up Google and find your professional photographer.
Does Googling professional photographers feel overwhelming? Download my 5 tips and read the pdf now. It’ll give you an action plan and help you find what you’re looking for. Instead of saying, “I can do it later,” go do one thing right now.