The title of this article sounds simplistic but it is amazing how often people (including me) sit staring at a problem like mounting paperwork and become so depressed by the thought of all the work to be done that they do nothing and continue in a paralytic state for days and even months! The article aims to cheer such people up by the fact that they are not the only ones to be paralyzed by their mounting tasks. It also offers one or two solutions to the problem.
We all have things we have failed to do. Does this scenario sound familiar?
“Last summer, I went to the gym 3-4 times a week and worked out like a fiend. I was in the best shape of my life, and I knew it. But then I got busy, and have only been one time in the past 7 months. Now, I could obsess about that, or I can just chill the freak out and go to the gym tomorrow and do something about it.
I have things I’ve needed to do for months still sitting on my desk. I can stop looking at this pile and DO something about it. I can blast my favorite tunes and give myself an instant boost. In short, I can either cry about something or I can fix it.”
The solutions of not stressing out about what you have not done; playing some music that you love, and doing something about whatever still needs doing are smart. It’s wise to decide not to cry over spilled milk but to take action to put things right.
The Jewish Rabbis taught their students to deal with the problem of studying a huge syllabus (the Talmud) by telling the story of the heap of dust. Two men were asked to move a huge heap of dust. One man soon gave up saying: “We’ll never move this! It’s far too big.” The other man kept plugging away day after day moving a little at a time. It seemed like he was achieving nothing but eventually the heap began to look a little smaller. Finally, he cleared the whole lot away and received his reward.
To use another metaphor: Be content to chip away like a woodpecker at a problem bit by bit and eventually you will cut through the whole tree and your problem will disappear. Your problem could be debt; so chip away at your debt by plugging the little leaks in your finances that are draining your money away. Perhaps, like me, you belong to several membership sites with monthly fees which you seldom if ever visit. It only takes a small effort to end your membership.
Perhaps people owe you money which they forget to pay you. Take the time and trouble to make a list of those who owe you money and ask for it. Debtors are usually honest people who really have forgotten to pay up and just need a reminder to refresh their memories.
Another solution to what you have not done is to pay someone else to do it. Recently, I mowed my lawns myself but the time before that I paid someone else to do it and saved a lot of time and energy to work on other more important and urgent tasks. You could argue, however, that mowing the lawn is great exercise so that you save money and benefit your health by doing the necessary physical work yourself.
Housework can take up a lot of time and demands some skill; so pay someone else who can do it more quickly and efficiently unless you are worried about having a stranger in the house. You could, of course, pay a relative to do the work!
The principle of leverage (i.e. getting someone else to do your work for you for money) applies in a big way on the internet. The whole affiliate system is based on rewarding others for doing your marketing for you. Network marketing is also based on leverage.
Occasionally, you might want to pay someone else to work for you but also to teach you how to do the skilled work that they know how to do. I pay my web designer to do work on my websites and to teach me how he does what he does. This way I can gain a certain amount of independence so that I don’t have to keep ringing him up over minor changes and I can also save time by making the most of the skills of an expert web designer.
So stop feeling depressed about what you haven’t done. Either start fixing things bit by bit or pay someone else to do the job for you.