When someone says the word “cobweb” you may immediately think of spider webs, old abandoned houses, or that bit of dust just out of reach high up near the ceiling of your living room that you noticed last night while watching television; but one of the definition lines at Dictionary.com describe cobwebs as “confusion, indistinctness, or lack of order.”
It’s time to clear out your mental cobwebs!
Many of the uncompleted projects on your to-do list remain undone because of the cobwebs hanging off of them. You’re confused about what to do next, the end result or benefit of completing the task isn’t clearly distinguishable, or you are too disorganized in your approach to managing the project.
Here are some tips to take a leaf blower to those cobwebs, refocus, reorganize, and get back to business (and cross a few completed items off your list!)
Take a hike
Or a jog or a walk or run. Outside. In the air. I know it’s January and I don’t care how cold it is or about the Artic Blast or Polar Vortex (they sound like new flavors of Mountain Dew) — bundle-up like your mom used to dress you when you were 3-years old and wanted to play in the snow. You actually need the wind to hit you in order to blow those cobwebs off you and off your brain. Taking a break to walk or exercise (any thing that will get you breathing deep and thinking clear) will benefit you.
Write it down
Make a clearly defined list of steps you need to take in order to complete the project. Think of it as a recipe for reaching your end-goal and include every sub-task (along with the amount of time each step should take and any tools/support you’ll require) and then simply follow your own written recipe. You should also write down one or two clear benefits of completing the task in order to remind you why you thought it was important enough to do in the first place. Again, use the recipe approach and include a mouthwatering description of the final outcome. Perhaps even include a photo of how the finished product might manifest; a clear desk for yourself, a big check made out in your name, or just your smiling face because it’s DONE!
Sweep it clean
After you follow the first two steps, you may decide that the project isn’t worth doing. It may have been ill conceived from the start, another solution may have presented itself, or perhaps the opportunity has passed you by. If so, it’s time to brush it away like cobwebs out of a dusty attic. Delete it from your task list and stop thinking about it immediately. It’s been taking up precious space in your mental attic for far too long and making you feel guilty or stressed out (or both). Sweep it out of your mind and move on to a project more worthy of your commitment.