Do you have more than one sourdough? That is, more than one thing which you keep thinking that you will do (or which you should have done by now), but which you simply cannot seem to get started on. The term is derived from a Swedish expression concerning the tasks and projects which are particularly difficult to get going with.
Sourdoughs have a tendency to become a true burden, heavy and cumbersome. Every time we come to think of one, we feel slightly depressed. We are tormented by our bad conscience.
A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step
The method to getting rid of a sourdough that has always worked for me thus far, and those I help in my work, is to divide it into really small steps.
It does not imply that we have to divide whatever we need to do into all the small steps that we can think of before we get started, but rather that we think of the first, smallest next step we could take to at least put ourselves in motion.
But if you have several, or even many, sourdoughs then perhaps even the thought of doing this might feel overwhelming. Why? Well, because there is not just one step we need to define, there are several first steps! Regardless what we manage to do, we will feel that there are still things which we should have done long ago.
One step at a time is the way to go
Be nice to yourself. Do not aim too high and do not give yourself a hard time about not making enough progress. Take into consideration that you after all are dealing with a person who is slightly depressed at the moment by the prospect of dealing with all the sourdoughs.
Hence, get started on one unattended a day. No more.
If you take on too much at once, the process of decreasing the number of sourdoughs will be obstructed and postponed. You should therefore feel pleased with yourself every day you manage to deal with at least one little aspect or piece of a sourdough.
- Look through your to-do-list and highlight the tasks which now feel more like sourdoughs than ordinary tasks. If I should postpone and procrastinate a task for longer than I originally intended, my digital to-do-list-tool Things will tag it with a “Sourdough”-label, and hence making it easy for me to distinguish when a task has gone from being a task to becoming a sourdough.
- Now make the task of choosing one sourdough from the list to work on today part of your morning-routine. So, every morning you will now decide which sourdough you will work on today and then define the first, small step you could take towards making progress.
- Do this first step during the day.
- When you have completed the step (which you most likely formulated as a to-do-task), enjoy your accomplishment.
- Celebrate your progress somehow.
- Give yourself a pat on the back.
- Do your particular victory sign, gesture or move.
- Tell a colleague about how good you feel.
- Get yourself an extra cup of coffee.
- Take another cookie.
- If you feel like it, take another step in processing the same sourdough. Perhaps you will even get rid of it entirely while you are at it. I gave a lecture to a group of people where each and every one got to choose one of their sourdoughs and define the first step they would take. When we all returned after a short coffee-break one of the participants exclaimed “I took care of the whole thing! I think I’m going to do something else right now while I’m at it.”
If you only choose to do one thing, no matter how small it is, this is more than enough. Any progress is progress. As long as you were not doing anything, nothing was happening to make the sourdough go away and the task to be completed.
- When you have done whatever you choose to do to get rid of this sourdough today, leave it at that. Doing so, you will avoid letting the whole task in its entirety to overwhelm you and make you stagnate again. Instead you will have time and energy for all the other tasks you need to do today.
- Tomorrow you will choose another sourdough and other step to take. As long as you have sourdoughs that need to be processed, continue choosing one a day to work on.
No more clouds of worry on your horizon
If you work with one, and only one, sourdough a day, you will in a calm and methodical manner process projects and tasks that have been bothering you for a long time. You will have many opportunities to celebrate that you are progressing and will with relatively small effort soon see that you are much more “up to date” with your work that you were before. You will no longer feel the weight of procrastinated tasks upon your shoulders.
What is your method?
How do you get rid of sourdoughs in the best and easiest way possible? feel more than free to share your thoughts and experiences in a comment below.