What Task Are You Avoiding Today?
Do you have some tasks that always seem to be on your “to-do”list? Do you have some projects that never get done, because you never start them? We all have these tasks that we just avoid, but there are strategies we can use to help us complete these challenging tasks.
Today, I am starting a short two-part series about how to start difficult and challenging and tasks and how to finish difficult tasks. Be sure to read tomorrow’s post on finishing difficult tasks.
5 Steps to Starting the Task You Always Avoid
Determine an overview of the complete task.
What does the task or project involve? What are all the steps involved in completing this project? Before you can start the task, you need a complete understanding of the task. When we don’t have a full understanding of the task or problem, many times will just avoid the problem.
The first step is to consider all aspects of your task. Don’t forget to decide if you will need to get supplies or materials before you can start?
If needed, write down a list of all the steps to complete the task or process.
Decide the first step.
Many times we avoid starting a task or project because we don’t know where or how to start. Since you have determined all the steps needed to complete the task, you should be able to identify the first step.
If you are having difficulty determining the first step, write each step you determined is necessary to complete this task on an index card, then lay all the card out in front of you. At first, do not organize them in any way. Study them for a few minutes and start putting them in order. As needed, move them around until you have them in the right place and the right order. Now you know how to start.
Take the first step and only focus on the first step. As they say, it’s the first step that is the hardest.
Commit yourself to getting started
Make a commitment to yourself to start your task and use your guideline as a checklist to follow until the project is complete.
Get focused on your challenge. Don’t let yourself become distracted with other tasks or even your hobbies. Let this task or project be your focus and complete it.
Continue working the remaining steps in order
After you have decided the first step, organize the remaining steps in the order needed to complete the task. As you organize the remaining steps, you will notice, some steps must be completed before others.
Set a plan and continue working each step in the process.
No more excuses
Once you have committed to work on this task or project, do not allow yourself to make-up excuses or allow yourself to continue putting off the project.
If you allow yourself one excuse or one time you put off the project, then you will continue to find it easier and easier to keep putting off the project, then it will stay on your “to-do” list and never get done.
Starting difficult tasks and projects can be difficult. We have to plan, determine the first step and commit to finishing the task once we start. Once we start practicing these steps, completing difficult tasks should be done more timely.
How do your start difficult and challenging tasks? What keeps you motivated?
Hi Rachel, as one who is often paralyzed by the thought of a big project, your suggestions are incredibly helpful I am really working on keeping daily ‘lists’ in a planner and this would by easy to incorporate into my planner. As I write down my projects I could easily leave room for the steps necessary.
Thanks again Rachel. Really appreciate you digging this out from your archives to share with us.
Have a great day.
Hi Lynn, since I wrote this post I have been refining my daily to-do’s and learning to focus more on only the things I know I can do in a day and also the most important things. I am glad it was helpful to you.