The Art of Step-by-Step

I was flying around the kitchen in a wild frenzy of busy-ness, when Ads declared, “You are doing it again!”

I dropped the washing, spun around, started drumming the counter with my fingers. “Doing what?”

“First you put the oven on to heat up a ciabatta. Then you boiled the kettle three times but still haven’t made your tea. The laptop is on, with about seventeen tabs open with all the different stuff you are looking at. And now you’ve decided to stop in the middle of all that and put the washing in.”

“Actually I was going to make a call,” I shot back.

Ads’ eyes actually nearly popped out of his head. “Another thing?! Are you joking me?”

Was I joking or was I serious? I don’t know. It had felt quite serious when I said it. I glanced around the kitchen. Kettle steaming. Oven happily grilling itself. Computer glowering. Washing pile tottering. List of calls to be made.

“Oops.”

Is it just me?

Please say it’s not.

I’m sure there must be other people out there who have the terrible habit of Completion Resistance. Maybe it’s a girl/woman thing? It might well be the female multi-tasking chromosome going a bit wah-wah because of all the oestrogen that’s in the tap water?

I don’t know. But what I do know is that there is this great Everestial heap of jobs that need completing and until recently my method was to chisel away at seven jobs – sometimes more – each minute. I’d then sit back in exhaustion and wonder why nothing I was working on had been finished.

Ideas and projects can never become a reality unless given the right amount of energy, focus and time. In all the mad multi-tasking, time ticks by, the more things build up and the more complex everything seems to become.

Realising that my method of completion was not getting me anywhere other than into a stressful mood, I made like a Productive Zen Monk and started to practise the Art of Step-By-Step.

The Art of Step-by-Step is very simple. You basically just choose one thing and do it until it has been done.

So, for a while I’ve been working on things one at a time and so far it’s been incredibly successful. I’ve managed to get all of the Grow Your Own Gorgeousness text ready for Kindle, create all the new artwork and am now in the process of completing the tools/downloads. I’ve really started to understand the idea that to build a city, you need to work on one building at a time. Unless you have a small army of builders at your disposal. Which I don’t. So.

Anyway, here’s a few little things I’ve sussed out about the Art of Step-by-Step.

1.       Set one goal not twenty. We are not Hindu Goddesses with umpteen arms who can do twenty things at once. Choose one step towards your goal that can be realistically completed and commit to doing it. And then have a cup of tea.

2.       Stop being a time bender. Do you ever underestimate how long a job is going to take? When we sit down to complete a project it can sometimes become more complex than we realized. Suddenly one job has become ten micro-jobs. That’s cool. It’s all okay. Just start completing the micro-jobs  step-by-step.  Stick with it, keep going and the project will come into fruition a lot sooner than if you divert your attention elsewhere.

3.       Set yourself a little completion date. I’m not a massive fan of deadlines. They remind me of power-tripping law-enforcers with light-saber style Tasers. Completion date sounds a lot nicer, don’t you think? It sounds welcoming, like it wants to meet you and invite you in for tea and cake. Rather than pressurizing yourself with a police-style curfew/deadline, think about the warm satisfaction you’ll experience when knowing that you’ve taken another step towards completion.  

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17 thoughts on “The Art of Step-by-Step

  1. EXCELLENT – read!! I do this – I do this with cleaning, cooking, singing, organising, writing and then maybe someone will pop round and chatting whilst doing all the above.. so its not just you sweetie pie.. so I have started just setting myself a weekly goal and then.. it seems I can achieve it.. one step at a time.. and ignore the pressure that only we place on ourselves.. not light – sabar style tasers are going to come and chase us.. we can almost get so worked up on ‘what we have to do!’ that simple things like ‘kicking back with a nice cup of tea and homing in on some blog time’ we don’t do and that is simply amazing for our spirit.. oh oooooh for example yesterday – I took a day off work for an interview.. I had the interview then went for tea with a friend in need then drove to the stables to see my other friend then went to the hospital and I had to wait for an appointment – I had 2 hours of being stuck in newport.. not really wanting to go shopping (I dislike shopping, as I always get dragged in by offers and end up spending more!) so I called a couple of people and really felt like.. ‘I should be doing something’.. ‘where is everyone’.. and before I knew it I was enroute to distructive thoughts when I stopped it and took a deep breath and was like NO Noooo I am going to take this valuble time and kick back and read my books.. so I did.. and it was lovely! and felt bad for doing so.. and then corrected myself and then went to my appointment and then went home to eat/sing and Read some more.. sooooo wow!
    Ok..
    Love your blog Miss Bethan xxxx

    • OK, I’m reassured!! I am also sitting here almost crying with laughter. So glad you managed to catch the distructive thought before it got out of hand and read your books instead. You are amazing xxx

  2. “Completion Resistance”! Honey- you are definetly NOT alone!!! What is it that makes me/us work on a certain task and then, instead of investing another minute of concentration, I let the attention slip? Am I subconsciouly depriving myself of the satisfaction to tick off my to-do-list? Why? It is stupid and I know it. Thanks for the reminder to do one step at a time. Maybe I start with it NOW and will get something done for a change…
    Luv ya! xxx

    • Hello Janin! It’s a funny one because having now worked through something to completion I have recognised a few different stages. The first is excitement/motivation/inspiration which gets me through the first leg. Then comes a lack of concentration and a whingey child-like part of me starts rebelling against the completion (it is the same feeling I got as a kid when my mum told me to clean my room). Then the third bit happens and I get a sort of fear that when this task is complete I won’t have something to occupy my thoughts (even though I still have about a zillion other idea-residents that need attention) and I have a little loss feeling. Then it’s finished and I get filled with wholeness and am so happy that it is complete! Hows the Blossom Book going? xxx

      • God- don’t ask about the bloomin’Soul-stuff! I had so many ideas and to-dos piled up that I was on the brink of panic as to never being able to complete it. So I let everything just sit there in order to have a look later (with fresh eyes and so on) and somehow managed to avoid looking at it for quite some time now. Was trying to get my creative juices flowing with other (not as demnading) projects, but have to admit I am struggling to bring back the passion for the BlossomBook at the moment. It feels as if I had to start over again completely to make it work and I just can’t get the energy together to do so. Well- the shop is taking up most of my time as well so I’ve got a good excuse to wait a little longer. Really srtuggling with what I am attracting right now as it always seems to be the exact opposite of what I want. Not in the best of moods right now…
        What about Skype?!?
        xxx

      • Mmmm, tricksy stuff. Good idea about looking at it with fresh eyes. I think that difficulty with Bloomin’ Souls is that, like many amazingly worthy projects, it can quickly become complex. You know? It could be worth asking yourself what ONE thing Bloomin Souls is trying to achieve for the user and then just sticking to that. If it starts running away with itself and getting complex pull it back in (like Pepper on her lead). If you want the project to sing, dance and make you dinner it all becomes too much but if you just ask it to sing, then maybe you’d find the Bloomin Voice again? And once the singing has been perfected, the dancing can follow. As for Skype. Yes. xxx

  3. Bethan the sign of a good blogger? You have just written MY thoughts! I have been rushing to get loads of stuff done and not getting anywhere for a little while and today I stopped took an aromatherapy bath, read a bit of the art of happiness inspired by the Dali Lama and just had a lovely luch while preparing to go and swap massages with a friend this afternoon. It occurred to me that I wanted to write a blog! I then had no idea where to start (with the technical computer side) so I thought I’d take a look at other blogs, then found out you’d written it for me! Wicked! Loves ya!

    • Hahaha, well. What can I say? Jung called it the mass subconscious. I think we should call it the mass subgorgeousness, with amazing telepathic connections between each of its sisters. So lovely to hear your voice/see your words. If you would like a hand setting up a blog I’d be more than happy to show you exactly how its done and give you a crash course in running it. Just let me know if you want to, you gorgeous thing! xxx

  4. Hey I would love to although I think I need to wait until I have my own laptop! Poor old Pete has dificulty enough having time on his own computer! I wasn’t bothered about sharing my work with others I kinda wanted to write something for my own benefit to look back on…. so I guess pen and paper will do for now. 😉 xx

    • Well if you do change your mind let me know. Would love to spend a few hours creating something gorgeous with you. Maybe you could do one for Relax (after you have your own laptop of course)? x

  5. Completely relate to this gorgeous blog! When I was out there working in the big wide world I was brilliant at completing a task before moving on to another. Now, working from home, I have to force myself to make a list, work my way down it, not wander into the kitchen and then stand there wondering why I am in the kitchen (or is that a sign of oncoming madness!), start to clean the house, go back to the computer, and on and on it goes! Take now for example. Am I completely concentrating on typing this response – no – washing needs to go on line, I am hungry, need to get moving before I am late for that appointment……
    Love you Bethxx

    • You know Debbie … I think you’re right. Perhaps this is the affliction of women who work for themselves? I was supposed to be working today but instead found myself sitting in a car (passanger seat) driving to Sainsburys to buy a mackeral that needs to be photographed later today, whilst busily cutting out a variety of butterflies for a friend who has just dieds funeral tomorrow, whilst testing my boy on his four times tables. I now feel quite car sick. xxx

  6. Love the blog Beth, and love the wicked humour, just the right blend of quirky and honesty! And yes, I too rush up the stairs, forget what I’ve gone up there for, come down and start something else, and realise that actually I needed to use the loo, and I am now desperate!

    Keep rockin’ Missy Beth.

    • Hello Michelle, Thanks so much for your kind words about this blog. Sometimes I DO have a little panic as to whether I’ve pushed the honesty boundary a bit too far … then I press PUBLISH and it is all too late. So good to know that others make the multi-million-task mistake. (I do the loo thing all the time!) Big love to you Michelle … Pop back again soon xxx

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