Focus on the Progress

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time, but for their safety, don’t take it literally.
Photo by Joaquín Rivero on Unsplash

Isn’t it super annoying when you finally get something done and it only took you five minutes? You’ve been anxious or lazy about it, and you postpone it time after time. It sits at the top of your list or at the back of your brain and you groan anytime you think about it.

I’ve been pretty lazy in the last few weeks and have left some projects undone. I have realized that in part it is a result of burnout. Recognizing that I needed rest, I have given myself space to do so. However, I also recognize that in part it is also a lack of planning. Because I don’t organize my day according to what I want to accomplish, I don’t set myself up for success.

I continue to encourage myself to give items just 10 minutes of my day. It will probably mean things will still be incomplete and require more sessions to be scratched off as done, but my standard has changed to valuing in progress more than valuing completion.

I am in a time of life where I wear a lot of hats and I have committed many of my resources. I don’t want to look back and feel that all my time was given to others or spent in front of a screen. Being productive is extremely important to me and I don’t want to lose opportunities to feel productive. With different responsibilities, productivity looks different too. I have learned to adapt to that and feel content within my limitations. Nonetheless, I want to continue to have productivity in my personal goals as well as succeeding in my daily life as is.

The change in thought has revolutionized and made me freer. I don’t feel like a failure because I didn’t completely throw myself into something and finish it in a weekend. I don’t feel like a bad mom because I didn’t sit the whole afternoon with my child. I don’t feel incomplete because I have recognized that my life is not a destination but it will always be in progress. Breaking up pieces of my day to move forward in certain goals is fulfilling to me.

In the end, keeping on walking is what truly matters. It is a fact that life is not a destination but a process. No matter how much you exercise, you will need to maintain it. No matter how much money you make, you will still need to pay your bills. No matter how in love you are with your partner, you still need to work on the relationship. While we are still breathing, there is no “You’ve arrived” sign. It may sound so depressing because life can be so tiring, but see it from the other side: because you are breathing, you have already arrived.

So instead of feeling crummy because the same item keeps popping up in your phone’s reminders, give it a few minutes for your own well being. Some progress is so much better than none. At the end of the time, you will be closer to completion and will feel better about your use of time.

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