Perseverance and finding a balance pays off. . .

Sticking to a project of any kind provides its own reward.  I learned this well while in graduate school.  I was an enigma to my friends because I loved writing the multitude of papers that were assigned.  And unlike most of them, I didn’t put them off until the last minute.  I quite intentionally worked on the assigned paper every day, some times only a couple of hours in a day, but I didn’t let a day go by without making some progress.  It gave me the structure I needed.  It felt almost like a sacred undertaking when approached in this way.

I don’t remember how many papers I wrote in those years, surely 100 or more.  I do know that by the time I got to my doctoral dissertation, I had a finely honed rhythm in my approach.  Every day I ascended the stairs to my study and I wrote for four hours.  Regardless of how few pages I might have written on any one day, I descended the stairs after four hours, had lunch, and then pursued other activities.  Balance was maintained in this way. Balance and peace of mind.

I think that whether it’s work in the home or outside of the home, whether it’s gardening or taking care of children; seeing the “work” in blocks of time keeps whatever the work is from overwhelming us.  We all know many who gave up on themselves because they “got behind” in whatever they had intended to accomplish.  Maybe you fall into that category.  If so, try what I did and still do.

I realize that if you have a tough work situation with a demanding boss, you might not be able to attain balance so easily.  However, I learned when I was running a business, that I could never do more than one task at a time. Personally, I don’t believe we can multi-task with any real efficiency.  Giving full attention to one thing at a time, in my experience, meant picking up one item from the inbox and handling it, and then moving on to the next one. Doing that consistently, day in and day out, allowed for a feeling of success. But even better, it allowed me to stay calm and focused.

This particular blog may seem like a departure from most I have done, but I hear from so many of you “out there” who say they feel stuck, they can’t seem to move ahead on a project they need to finish.  And I generally tell them it’s because they are looking at the “end” rather than one segment of the project at a time.  I was asked years ago how I managed to write a 300 page dissertation.  My response was, “One word at a time.”

Keep your projects, your goals, your tasks at work manageable by looking at the individual segments.  And then do one at a time.  You will be amazed at how different your life will feel.  Trust me.

 

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