As (what is now) normal, I feel very overwhelmed when I look at my to-do list. I have journal papers to work on, an experiment, my dissertation, and a mile-long to-do list specific for the start-up (and it keeps growing, even as I finish tasks). But, I’m trying really hard to not let the sheer size prevent me from getting anything done. And I’m doing this in two ways. The first, is that I’ve told myself to not even think about any of my school-related tasks for at least this week, and possibly next (will re-evaluate on Monday). This cuts down slightly on the volume of work crowding my mind. And two, I took one section of the start-up task list, and am focusing on it, with a goal of completing it by the end of the week. This way, I don’t focus on the entire list and want to just give up, but have a more manageable sized chunk to work on.
I’m also trying to use the turtle’s method of completing a race (because this feels like I’m on an ultramarathon), and thinking “slow and steady.” Now, fast would be nice, but it’s also really important that things are done well, so thinking about going slowly, is more a reminder to focus on doing thinks correctly and thoroughly, so they don’t need to be re-visited and re-done immediately after finishing. The steady part is a reminder that it doesn’t have to be all done today, but that as long as I keep plodding along and I will continually get closer to the finish.
I’ve actually had some really productive days so far. I’m not accomplishing as much as fast as I’d like, but I have crossed a few items off the list and have come up with new solutions for other problems along the way. And while I do usually start to feel overwhelmed by the end of the day, I wake up with a clear idea of how to start to tackle my workload, which makes it slightly less scary and a bit more motivating to get started.
Eventually (and to too far away), I’m going to have to bring my school stuff back in. But I think this time focused strictly on the start-up can only help in getting my mind into a better state then trying to handle everything (even if it means my July plan has mostly been tossed aside).