Do you ever feel a little overwhelmed – or a lot? Do the mountains of to-do’s seem overwhelming or the projects seem daunting?
Sanity comes from being able to maintain productivity in highly demanding environments. If you wonder about the magic of how people take on huge projects and complete them so effortlessly, there is a simple secret:
Take it apart and break your desired outcome into achievable parts, called milestones. This has three overall positive results:
- Sense of accomplishment: You feel like you are really in a zone of productivity when you can check off item after item you have completed.
- Ensures project success: By completing each milestone you take one step close to completing your quest while destroying possible obstacles to success.
- Lessen stress: In Aikido, I learned the phrase “Mizu no kokoro”, or mind like water. In simplest terms, the concept is that you react exactly like you should in the given situation. When you are able to focus and deliver results, it’s a great way to reduce the stress.
However, one key component of the “break-down” is that you maintain the context of your milestones in relation to your overall vision. That is, all of your roads (milestones) must lead you to Rome (your outcome). Get everything else out of the way, or set a time when you know you can focus.
“You’ve got to think about the big things while you’re doing the small things, so that the small things go in the right direction.” – Alivin Toffler
All too often, in our daily activities, we allow ourselves to lose focus of our vision and focus on the problems at hand. This causes us to replace our original goal with a smaller much less meaningful goal that was originally stepping stone in our project; it just seems to find it’s way in!
It’s easy to get stuck in the proverbial weeds; When this happens, I’ve always found it best to step back and ask that clarifying question, “Why was I doing this again?”
Only when we overcome these tasks in the context of achieving our grander plan, do we feel as if we are truly progressing towards a path of accomplishment.