From Inertia to Momentum

by Crystal on January 18, 2009

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What have I done?

I think I’ve created a monster.  Or more accurately, I may have just become one.

We’re in day 18 of 2009, right?  Not even 3 weeks yet.  So far this year I have de-cluttered and organised a train wreck of a study, cleared approximately 3 years of paper, set up a GTD system – finally!  (Of course it took being able to see the bottom of my inbox first…), overhauled my work wardrobe, started a new herb garden, and this weekend was spent scrubbing down the bedroom – including getting spots off the window-frame with a toothbrush (it’s probably next for the total overhaul treatment), clearing out a heap of boxes & stuff from the lounge room,  and planning out my lunches that I’m bringing in to work this week – I’m finally getting organised there too!  Oh yes, and last week I finally had the honest conversation I’ve been putting off with the bf.

My place is hardly recognisable from what it was last year, 19 days ago.  My mind has changed a lot too.  I can’t believe how fast it’s all switched over.

Whew!

So what’s different this year?

I probably should have created my mindmap for “Your Best Year Yet” years ago…

Of course, doing the process is something I’ve done for a long time.  What’s new this year is that after putting my priorities in order, I decided I’d be focusing on them one at a time and took a few days off at the start of the year to just get stuck into number 1 (the study project).  Mono-focusing really does work – it’s powerful stuff!

The kicker, though, is that after an all-out effort that got me close to the finish line – where I’d normally relax and things would start slipping back to normal – I pushed myself to get out of the comfort zone and go for completion.  Since I’d been procrastinating on my study project by alternating/combining it with my ‘papers’ project, there were two things nearly ready to be finished off.

After taking a deep breath and diving into finishing one, though, the fact that they had been so mashed together meant it still didn’t feel finished, so I went through the last of the papers too.  Then I kinda felt like the inbox of pending stuff (more than 2m) had to be done, and I even got stuck into that at 3am this morning when I woke up.  Being Sunday, I did go back to bed afterwards, though.

I have to be honest.  It was tough pushing myself past where I’d normally stop.  There was a LOT of resistance.  I caught myself doing every trick in the book to avoid doing those last little bits, and had to have a good stern talking to myself.  Having gone past that point, though, I’m now riding what feels like a wave of momentum, and every time I reach a ‘finish’ point I’m looking around for the next thing to take to closure.

You know the struggle and strain you feel as the car gets hauled up to the peak on a roller coaster?  That’s what it felt like, but I finally got there.  Now I have, it’s moving downhill fast without any effort – and getting faster!  I imagine there’ll be a dip and climb ahead of me somewhere, but for now I’m just enjoying the ride.  How could I have stopped just short of this good stuff so many times before!?!

The Good Stuff, finally…

Now when I walk through my apartment, I don’t feel like I’d want to close doors or rush around hiding stuff if someone was coming to visit.  In fact, I’m almost at the point where I’d be proud to start inviting people.  I may yet have a (3 year late) housewarming (unit-warming?).  Of course, I’d still hope they didn’t open any cupboards…

The best part is, as I’m finally reaching completion on all these things, I’m creating not just physical but mental space around myself.  The mass of projects, courses & ‘want to do’ things that have been queued up for so long are getting whittled down to something a lot less overwhelming, as my confidence builds up that I can actually do them.  I just have to filter them so they come at me one by one.  Sounds simple, right?  It’s something I’ve known for ages, but being the ambitious, curious, endlessly seeking kind, it’s been a talent that’s eluded me before now.

They really ought to cover “The art of saying NO” in school.  Early.  They probably won’t, though, since the whole system is geared around training kids to do as they’re told.  (OK, I won’t go there!!!)  At the very least, though, it would be a gift to society if they trained us how to focus on one thing at a time.  It would make the roads safer, too!

The Takeaway

Do you have too much on your plate?  Trying to run in two different directions will result in going absolutely nowhere.  Take the time to work out your priority list and focus on one thing at a time – you’ll be amazed how quickly things can happen when you do!  SERIOUSLY amazed.  I am!!!

Further Reading:

Chazin Dreamz…: SET YOUR GOALS

About Oprah » Blog Archive » Oprah Winfrey


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Troy Malone January 19, 2009 at 5:08 am

Very nice blog post. Thanks for outlining the importance of focus. You are absolutely right that it is a very powerful thing!

@troymalone
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