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.
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.