I’m working on a big project for my business. I’m super excited about it, but there’s lots of little things that need to be done before I can launch it. I’ve been stuck in overwhelm and last week my partner suggested making a list of all the tasks I still need to do.
At the time, the thought of writing down ALL THE THINGS brought more overwhelm. And the thought of looking at that list and trying to check things off brought even more overwhelm. And I’m a lover of lists and checking things off, so that’s saying something!
And then things suddenly clicked. See, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about input goals versus output goals. I’ve always worked better by focusing on input rather than output. For example, a lot of writers aim to write a certain number of words per day or per session (an output goal).
But while writing my memoir, word count has never felt like the right thing for me to focus on. Instead I focus on spending a certain amount of time working on my memoir each day or week (an input goal).
I have realised that I need to set the input goal (and system) before I can even think about the output goal or tasks to be completed. For me, this looked like scheduling time 4 days per week to work on that project using the Pomodoro technique. The second I put that into my schedule, the overwhelm around the tasks disappeared.
This might seem backwards to some: it’s probably more common to look at everything that needs to be done and then make the time to do it. But the lightness I feel right now tells me that for me, being clear on how I’m going to get the work done makes the work feel much more manageable.
It feels like I need to know how to drive the car before looking at the map to see all the turns I’ll need to take. Because I already know HOW I’m going to get the tasks done, they don’t come with that sense of panic. And now that I know this, I can use it to my advantage!
Can anyone relate?!
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