How To Tackle Challenges That Make You Feel Overwhelmed You have most likely heard it said, many times over, that the best way to tackle a large project or task, is to break it down into small tasks. There is a saying that I saw on a small poster many years ago that read, “Life’s hard by the yard, but inch by inch, life’s a cinch!”

This is the best way to overcome the procrastination of putting off starting a large undertaking because it seems so overwhelming. Tackling any challenge, one step at a time is the best way to build momentum and accomplish more.

Several years ago I made up my mind to climb to the top of Mt. Hood, here in Oregon. This mountain is 11,230 feet high and I was, you might say, well past middle age, and had never climbed anything before. But I was determined.

As part of basic climbing school – at least I was smart enough to know that I needed some training – I participated in a conditioning climb, in preparation for the big one! Our instructor took us to about the 9700 foot level on Mt. Hood, and as we left behind the top of the ski trails and approached a snow field, he began putting stakes with small red flags into the snow about every 30 feet, as we climbed.

Good thing he did. Suddenly we found ourselves in a snow storm and complete white out. And believe me, it came upon us suddenly. I experienced the sensation of being totally lost, as we were on a relatively level plateau, and I had no idea which direction we had come from. After waiting a reasonable time for the storm to pass, we realized it was not going to let up, and darkness was approaching.

However, we could see the first stake, and headed for it. When we got to it, we could see the next stake. We came down that mountain, one stake at a time.

In the same way, you can accomplish your biggest, most challenging tasks, at work and in your life, by disciplining yourself to take them one step at a time. You may be able to lay out all the steps to your goal from the beginning, and then again, you may not. You may have to just trust that when you have accomplished one step, you will become aware of what the next step will be.

By practicing this principle, you can achieve anything you want to, and reach all your goals – inch by inch.

By the way, I did climb to the summit of Mt. Hood. Now, every time I look at that mountain, I have a feeling of real satisfaction that I stood on the top.

©2002 Carol Halsey

Author's Bio: 

Carol Halsey is Founder and President of Business Organizing Solutions. She is a professional organizer, consultant, speaker, and author of "93 Organizing Tips to Simplify Your Business Life." You can get this booklet and articles, ideas and a free Idea Kit, filled with simple tips for saving time, simply by visiting her web site: Subscribe to her free organizing newsletter, #8220;Organizing Ideas,” sent twice a month.