Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Intellectual Discomfort

Has this ever happened to you . . . you've got a big task you want to accomplish, you're actually excited to accomplish it, yet the task is so monumental that you stall out. You might end up delegating it to someone else you think is more qualified. Or worse -- you just don't do it at all because it's too overwhelming. Even thinking about it gives you hives.

So you start to feel like a loser. No, more than that. You feel like you're the mayor of Loserville. The king. The mother of all losers ever born.

If you've experienced this, you're not alone. In fact there's actually a term for this situation: intellectual discomfort.

Throwing in the towel is a viable solution, but it's not the best solution. The next time you're faced with a project that's enormous (like writing a novel), here are some ways to move beyond the discomfort and toward the completion of that project.

1. Break it into bite-sized chunks.
Rome wasn't built in a day, neither does your task need to be completed in 24 hours. Work on it for a half-hour, then take a break. Do another thirty minutes and take a break. Repeat. Often this process will give you the momentum to begin working longer periods than half-hour increments.

2. Push it.
When you feel like you're ready to quit for the day, force yourself to do just one more thing, be it one more sentence in a paragraph, one more load of junk out of the attic, one more whatever.

3. Raise the bar.
Goals are good. Set a goal. But don't stagnate in that goal. Weight lifters increase the weights regularly because otherwise their muscles won't grow. Same thing for your project. Start out with a goal but then up it to something bigger and better. The trick here is not to aim too high so that you fail, but just enough so that you continually stretch yourself.

Life isn't all about comfort, princess, and if you give these 3 ideas a try on your next big project, you might discover that discomfort can be manageable.

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chappydebbie said...

This method would also work on deep-cleaning your house. :-)

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