Accomplishment. I am not talking about the BIG, full-life, earth-shattering kind of feats that change the world. I am talking about an accomplishment that is a small mundane daily task you complete and don’t even know it. It is the task and sub-tasks you take for granted. When you complete them, they are done and gone. You take it in stride and don’t even think about them. But these tasks serve an important purpose. When completed, these tasks make you feel good about yourself. However, when those small tasks don’t work out, you sure feel it as it pulls you down into a gully of despair, self-deprecation, and persecution. So was my workday yesterday. But it led me to feel, reflect, and be inspired enough to sit down, analyze and write about to you now.
Your day, whether work or play starts. You have a few tasks and goals you plan to finish that day. Like most days, you probably have a free form type of plan which resides in your head. It isn’t formal and written to look at in black and white. This is probably where the impending failed day starts. You have a lofty idea only in your head, thinking it is simple, straight forward and easily accomplished. As you embed yourself deeper into the journey, you begin to unveil, peel back the layers, and realize how many more pieces there are that must be planned, shaped, and thought through. These are some of the skills you need to efficiently work towards your achievements. This groundwork is essential, as the foundation of a large building, that rests deep underground and will never be seen once the rising building is being completed. You have several options and if you choose the wrong one and move forward, it can become the eventual undoing and blow-up of a failed day. That blow-up is what will then bring you down, pull you into regression, and make you feel like the entire day was a waste of time, leaving you feeling like you are taken further back before your day even started.
Down a Rabbit Hole and Not Near Achievement
You have chosen the wrong option. You are down a rabbit hole. But this rabbit hole is hard to climb out of. You went into it with good intentions after a quick analysis. But it led you into areas you don’t have much skill or experience with. If anything, you have accomplished more confusion for yourself. Now you are not sure of the next steps. You even feel like you have regressed. I know that is how I felt. I realized that I don’t care how mundane, minuscule, or insignificant the accomplishment I seek should be. I just want to accomplish something because it makes me feel good. And really, you cannot achieve worldly feats all the time. You do need some downtime because that is where you reflect, research, and build your new tasks you will accomplish tomorrow!
So how do you avoid this? You may have cut off too big a chunk to deal with. Your task is perhaps bigger than you thought, and bigger than it should be. Here are some ideas of how to set yourself up for success;
- Break your task into smaller sub-tasks
- Write down your task breakdown into mini-tasks – don’t just say them or think them – place them before you
- it helps to SEE those subtasks in black and white in front of you
- you may be surprised that you can’t even describe it using simple words – so how can you accomplish it, right?
- If a task becomes bigger than you thought, write it down as a new task for tomorrow
- When you feel stuck, take a pause, push back, step back and look at the BIG picture – what are you really trying to accomplish?
- many times, as my task work is progressing, I keep moving the finish line by adding more into the scope
- if this keeps up, you may never finish the race, as the finish line keeps moving further from you
- so set a hard finish – and don’t move it
- don’t be hard on yourself (I do many times) – cut yourself some slack
- if stepping back isn’t enough, leave this task for tomorrow
- this will give you extra breathing room to reconsider and rescope
Accomplishment is Near
There are some days where I want to accomplish small tasks during my day. These tasks could be the most mundane, boring, low-tech, insignificant kinds of tasks, but I do want to “just complete something”. But it is a matter of just connecting the dots to take you to your completed accomplishment. They build my confidence and make me feel good – and many times, that is all that matters – feeling good about yourself. It is the greatest gift you can end each day with. And you don’t necessarily have to complete a task, but knowing you are in control and able to scope out fully and visualize just how involved your “once seemingly simple task” truly is. It’s also a good way to have downtime to think about new plans while still getting things done. During these menial tasks, you still have a chance to think freely and creatively, so it isn’t exactly lost time. It is like a change of pace or environment to free up your mind for some idle thought. So don’t get buried and dismayed, discouraged. Follow my steps above. Stay in control. Be realistic. Deal with realities, not perceived simplicities. To your problem-solving success!