Overwhelm. Stuck. Spinning my wheels. Busy, busy, busy but not productive. The to-do list that never ends. The “where do I start?” question. The “I can do it myself so I *should* do it myself” reasoning. The “no one can do it as well as I can but I never seem to get it done” feeling.
I hear all of these, and more, from my strategy clients. Boy oh boy, I’ve felt all them, and more, myself! There are times I feel absolutely buried under a mountain of Things I Need To Deal With: paperwork and client work and bills to pay and emails to answer and a family to care for and worry about and a house to manage (don’t ask me about the renovations). And that doesn’t even start on the plan-for-the-future stuff: where is my business going, what direction am I moving in, what about finances and taxes and retirement?
It’s a Big Pile Of Stuff. Just when I think I’ve made a dent in it, life comes along with a front-end loader and adds a ton or two. It’s hard to get moving when you feel buried so deeply you can’t see over the pile!
So how do you get unstuck, and get done what you intend to do? Here is the first in a series of tips and techniques that work for me.
One of the things I’ve learned about myself over the years is that sometimes when I’m feeling stuck, it’s because I don’t know where I’m going. Oh, I know what tasks are on my to-do list for the day, the week, but I’m missing something at the Big Picture level. I’m here (pointing down at my feet) and I know I want to be somewhere else (pointing vaguely into the distance), but I’m not sure what or where that somewhere else really is.
I like plans. I don’t mind change, but I hate chaos. If I’m not clear on what’s ahead of me, then that “where I want to be” in that vague distance feels like it’s across a really deep, really scary chasm. Taking that first step is, to me, flying without a net. Not going to happen, or at least not going to happen without a lot of kicking and screaming!
So I think. I let stuff percolate in my brain till I can get a clear picture in my mind of what’s on the other side of that chasm. Because there’s a LOT on that other side, and I need to know what I want to aim at.
It all starts with the question: “What do I want?” More specifically, “What do I want FOR MY LIFE?” It has to start with what I want my life to look like. The business, the activities, everything else follows.
So step 1 = Get Clear.