I hate to do laundry. Mainly because it ends up taking all day and it’s not fun. Different people procrastinate for different reasons. I have two.
- It’s a terrible chore that I hate doing like laundry
- It’s a job that seems too big to start. I suffer from overwhelm big time.
The best way I have found to get through both types of procrastination is my Laundry Method. I break down the job into steps and I often don’t do all of them on the same day. I might sort the clothes one day. Wash and fold the clothes another day. And put up the clean laundry another day. How much of the task I do at a time depends on how my day is going and what else I have to do. Once I started doing laundry this way, it became less of a chore.
Now I apply the Laundry Method to almost everything on my to do list – both life things and creative projects. In his wonderful book The Success Principles, Jack Canfield calls this method chunking it down. When you have a big project, brainstorm with the steps are. And then break down what you need to do for each step. Get as granular as you need to and then start on your list.
For example, I am currently developing my first video course (more on that later 🙂). Here is how I chunked it down:
- Outline Course – into 11 modules
- For each module – write – make a video
- Write each module – research – write lesson – write homework
- Make a video – find images for slide deck – make slides – record video
As I work my way through the list, I can see my daily progress on the big project and my overwhelm goes away. Instead, my progress motivates me to keep going and fuels my creativity. I keep thinking of more fun things I want to do with this project!
This method also helped me get comfortable with being behind. I think in life we are never caught up. Especially as creative people we’re never finished. There’s always another rewrite to do and another project to start. I’ve shifted my perspective from catching up to making progress every day. Even if you just manage to do a little bit of your project every day, eventually you’re going to finish it. Consistent progress helps give you the self-confidence to keep going and to start something new.
So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, chunk it down and start with the first step. You’ll be surprised how much concrete progress you make and how much better you feel with the Laundry Method. Let me know how it goes!
Attend My Free Workshop!
On the evening of September 22nd I will be speaking to the Montana Screenwriting Group over Zoom about pitching yourself and your projects. You don’t have to be a Montanan to attend. You just have to join their Meet Up group to get the Zoom invite. Sign up here. I hope to see you!
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