What is a boulder? Other than a heavy-ass rock? Well, for our purposes, our metaphorical boulder is a task you have to do. One that is hard. Challenging. Maybe even an unhappy one. It’s the task you keep putting off. The one that is making you become a procrastination king or queen. But it’s one that you must do, and the longer you put it off the worse it’s going to get. It gets heavier, if for no other reason than there’s usually a deadline that keeps inching closer and closer to you, and that means your stress levels are likely to go up, because next thing you know, you’re up against the clock with this hard-ass task staring you in the face. It won’t even have the common courtesy to get easier while you are waiting for it to magically get done on its own, or to disappear entirely.
Sticking with our metaphor, we usually pick up our pebbles and small rocks and easily toss them over the hill, getting done with our easier more favorite tasks first, again and again. So sure, we’re getting stuff done; yet, we’re avoiding the boulders.
It’s good to get things done. Even lots of things. Even if they are the smaller and/or easier tasks. But that doesn’t help us deal with those damn boulders. And again, the more we do the pebbles and little rocks, the more of our energy we use (and time and potentially even our creativity), depleting us for the energy, time, and creativity we need to push those boulders up and over that hill, that now seem to be looming ever larger. (It’s like a boulder-hill conspiracy knocking the wind and go-gettem right out of us.)
So what can we do? How can we make that boulder easier to deal with? How can we get it done with and over?
Well, not to beat this metaphor into the ground, but get out your hammer, and break that boulder into easier to deal with, less unhappy tasks. Examine your boulder and see what little snippets here or there can be chiseled away and tossed over the hill.
Meaning, instead of looking at your boulder like it’s one heavy damn rock, examine it, and break it down into more manageable parts, and then determine the best way to approach the smaller rocks. Maybe some you can hurl over the hill, and maybe some are still big enough that you have to trek up the hill lugging your rock with you to then drop it down the other side and watch it roll with ever gaining speed as it races to the bottom, and the whole while you’re wearing your smug “got-it-done” smile. Whatever it takes. But you get that damn boulder over the hill.
And for a helpful recommendation, I suggest, if it helps and/or makes sense, when you start breaking off your do-able chunks, to get started, look for the easiest or most enjoyable task and do that one first. Or maybe the one that will help fuel the creativity you need to push through. Use it for motivation to get you into the groove, and then one by one, build the momentum you need to conquer that damn boulder!
And that’s you conquering your list of to-do’s and building your path toward the success you desire (which is way better than letting the hard stuff derail you and become self-defeating)!
Making your life the life you want it to be!