Ellen moves her dresser
I’ve reached the halfway point in my 4-week course, “Procrastination Transformation: “The Keys to Getting Started”, and I’m not surprised to find that the topic of “Overwhelm” is a recurring theme in our ADD / ADHD class discussion forum.
Just before the course began, I had received an email from Ellen, one of my readers. She wanted to tell me how excited she was that she’d succeeded in a project she had been procrastinating on for a long time; moving her heavy dresser from one bedroom to another.
It was a great example of how a project might seem simple at first, but can break down at any point. As ADD / ADHD Adults, our first reaction might be to give up. But, after viewing my video about having a clear intention for each step of a project, Ellen committed to tackling the project with this new approach. Her process kept her from succumbing to overwhelm, as she would have in the past.
Thinking what she sent me would make a cool “case study” that readers could learn from, I wrote it up, including each step she broke down, the roadblocks she encountered, and how she worked through each one.
So here it is — a great little example that can be used for any kind of project!
Case Study: Ellen Moves Her Dresser
SITUATION: Ellen needed to move her heavy antique dresser by herself from one bedroom to another, without scratching her floors. She procrastinated a long time, not sure how she would do this.
While listening to my training teleseminar “Procrastination Transformation: Your Roadblocks Point the Way,” she decided to tackle the project with an intentional step-by-step approach.
ACTION TAKEN: Ellen thought out the steps that would be required, one-by-one. She ran into a roadblock on the second step, when she found herself unable to remove the heavy drawers, which had become stuck with age.
Instead of giving up (which would have been her habit), she switched gears and emptied the drawers. Again a roadblock: the dresser was still too heavy. She got a dolly, now determined to see the project through by dealing with each step, one at a time.
Even though Ellen encountered several roadblocks, by dealing with them step-by-step, she treated each one as a problem to be solved instead of a reason to give up.
Here are the steps Ellen took, the roadblocks she encountered, and how she broke through them:
RESULTS: The dresser got moved, and both the old and new locations were clean and perfect.
- Making the decision to take time to think things through allowed the project to get done. The “thinking” and writing down the steps should actually be a pre-step for the project.
- Thinking things through allowed Ellen to stop chastising herself for “procrastinating;” once she realized that it really was overwhelm that was stopping her.
- Breaking a project down into small distinct steps of action broke through the feeling of overwhelm, and made it clear where there might be a roadblock
- Roadblocks need not be insurmountable barriers. They can be broken down and treated as solvable problems, step by step.
- To avoid leaving loose ends (such as clothes lying on the floor), the final stages of a project should be figured into the plan from the beginning.
Have you tried an intentional step-by-step approach to break through ADD Overwhelm? Please share!