Monday, February 4, 2008

One Bite At A Time

As usual, I have a number of projects in play simultaneously. There is always something new to learn, something to update, a newsletter to write, a book to work on, a training/speaking engagement to prepare for, or a blog post to write. There are times when I reach a fork in the road. I can either take the path to the land of overwhelm or take the path to the land of focus. At these times, it's important to stop, take a look at the landscape and choose the path of focus. In so doing, the focus is on completing only one thing.

Once I've determined my point of focus, I can begin to break up the associated tasks into smaller pieces (or bites) and prioritize the completion of each. Focusing, is my best way to avert the road to overwhelm. Multi-tasking doesn't effectively work to generate the most productive use of our time. Yes, there are times when multi-tasking feels appropriate, but it can adversely affect the quality and quantity of what is produced.

Another thing that works well, taking a break. I've often gotten some of my best ideas while doing something totally unrelated to the awaiting task. Taking a walk, going for a run, watching a movie, doing nothing or sitting in meditation can do wonders for anyone's mental state and creativity. Sometimes, the harder we push, the less productive/effective we become.

When you're on the verge of overwhelm, what works for you? How do you calm the overwhelm beast?

Kennette Reed