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Project Overwhelm - Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

02/21/19 | Dana LaRieal Morales

Where oh where did this saying come from, "Biting off more than you can chew", well I don't really know but when talking about project overwhelm, I know how accurate it can be.  Think about it, how many times have you lost track of time pinning new ideas on Pinterest, or signing up for that new masterclass or course thinking, this is going to help me XYZ!  Yet, you find yourself a month later with the same problems and a little less money or a lot of lost time? 

You get excited when you think about a new project. You get a rush of excitement that this is going to be the one...the one thing that will solve my problem. Especially if it has to do with organizing or decluttering.  

For most people, "projects" are completed in a quick and easy way.  You get the idea, be that from your mind, a seed dropped by your favorite Youtuber, podcaster or Pinterest page and you make it happen 50 percent of the time.  The other 50 percent of the time you are not only embarking on a new project but a new method/technique of doing something. 

Are You Taking On Too Much?

Now, when I say you are biting off more than you can chew, I'm not referring to these projects in their singular sense. I'm referring to the totality of your projects.  Starting with the easy and moving all the way to the difficult or hard projects.  

See, most people don't generally start just one project at a time.  You have a couple of projects happening, all in different stages, at the same time. When they all go without a hitch, there's no problem...but those occasional times when they don't......lawwwwwwd help you and anyone who is in the line of fire, clutter and disarray lol.  

So, I want to caution you as a new declutterer, organizer or someone who is determined to get their business in order...pace yourself!  Be realistic with what you can accomplish, how long it will take and how you plan to do it. 

Make a Coded Project List

Instead of jumping into yet another project by the seat of your pants, make a project list. Literally, it can be a sheet of paper with a numbered list of project ideas that you have.  

You can place an E (Easy), A (Average), and H (Hard) difficulty code by each project on your list. 'You also want to place a priority code High, Medium Low on them as well.  

By coding your projects, it gives you an idea of whether you should try to start it while another is going on.  If you are already working on a difficult project that is a medium to high priority maybe you don't need to take on anything else.  Maybe you need to focus all your attention on this one thing. 

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Ultimately, what I am trying to say is don't create unnecessary havoc by trying to organize, declutter, implement or change too quickly.  By doing so, you will get overwhelmed and discouraged, wondering what went wrong and why it didn't work.  On top of that, your home and/or business will look a HOT mess in the process. Ultimately defeating the purpose of the whole thing. 

Truth be told I often will find additional problems or "projects" that need to be completed or resolved while I'm working on one.  So this does nothing to help your overall overwhelmed state.

Avoid The "Everyone Else Is Syndrome"

Marie Kondo's techniques are solid and help a lot of people. The one issue a lot of you are having with the concepts she teaches is that you are extremely busy and already overwhelmed, so to pull everything out at once is too much for you.  It creates heart palpitations because you only have a short amount of time to work on your projects between work and your family.  I get it!  

Listen, you have to find a technique and process that works for you.  You have to adapt things to your lifestyle as necessary.  I, like Marie, feel you should assess things in like categories, but I don't always agree with pulling it all out at one time.  It depends on your particular situation, remember advice is to be used as a guide.  

So, whether it is Marie Kondo, The Happiness Bucket or some other process or organizing guru, do what you find works for you.  Take the parts that work and drop those that don't. 

Enjoy Your Feeling of Accomplishment

Process development, decluttering and organizing should be a time of awakening.  It should be a freeing and energizing experience.  Don't lose that by overestimating or over-committing what and how quickly you can do something.  Remember, there are 365 days in a year, use them! Rome wasn't built in a day, so understand that your process may be a little slower, but you will be able to say it is done.  

Just don't give up...and keep pushing ahead.