What do you do when faced with an overwhelming task?

I unpacked some more this weekend.

I didn’t want to. I want it done. Finished.

The only way to get to ‘done’ is to do the work.

So I unpacked.

My studio space downstairs became the repository for the movers to put all the boxes not marked ‘living room, master bedroom, kitchen, or dining room’.

There were a lot of boxes that fit that bill.

Since moving into our new home on March 12th, I have continually entered the soon to be studio space in search of mis-labelled boxes that might contain things I wanted. Like my Cappuccino machine, frying pans and other kitchen items. In the process, the boxes got moved about, partially unpacked, somewhat dishevelled looking.

This weekend, I decided to tackle the job.

It is a big job, which I kept putting off every time I entered the back room.

Ugh. My mind whispered. This room is overwhelming.

And I’d turn and walk away.

Not only does the room contain all the not yet unpacked boxes and pieces of furniture for which we have not yet found a home, it also contains some of the contractor’s tools, the old kitchen cabinets which I’ll use in the studio and extra wood from the renovation. As this room has a finished concrete floor, he used it for cutting and sanding wood, painting doors and other building activities.

Which means, though the contractor did sweep it out before the movers came, there is still lots of dust on the floor and pieces of wood lying about.

Yesterday, after completing everything I could upstairs and spending some time reading, walking Beaumont, and walking Beaumont again, I had no more excuses. I had to tackle the job.

I have begun. After working on it for six hours yesterday, the room looks a little less overwhelming and a lot more manageable.

In the days leading up to finally getting to work on the room, I let the size of the job overwhelm me. I looked at it in its entirety and didn’t see the possibility of tackling it in small, chewable steps.

Yesterday, though I worked on it for six hours total, I did it in three trenches of time, taking mini-breaks in-between each segment. In fact, my first stint at working on it was for an hour and a half. When a girlfriend came over for tea at 10 am, I took a break.

When she left at 11:30, I worked until 1:30 when Beaumont and I had a walk date with a neighbour.

By the time I returned to the room an hour and a half later, I felt refreshed and re-energized to tackle the job. I’d already made some headway and could see progress. It felt less daunting and I felt less overwhelmed. I counted the boxes I’d emptied, took out the garbage and packed up ‘the giveaways’ and reminded myself that organizing this room is a process of creating my studio space, a space in which I love to spend time.

And therein lies the secret of cleaning up the basement — it’s not about tackling an ugly job. It’s about creating a space for my creativity to have its voice. It’s about stepping into the task with an open heart and mind, knowing that it is all part of the process of creating my soon to be studio space.

I have begun to create the space for my studio. It is an exciting process. A process where I get to be part of designing the space that will be home to my creative expressions.

I am letting go of the angst of ‘cleaning up the basement’ and diving into the joy of building a space where I will feel free to explore my creativity and express myself.

I am loving the shift in attitude and perspective.

Which just goes to show, if you’ve got a big job to undertake, changing your glasses can give you a whole new outlook on getting it done!

6 thoughts on “What do you do when faced with an overwhelming task?

Real conversations begin with your comments. Please share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.