Starting To Dig Yourself Out

Have you ever gotten to the point where you are so overwhelmed with all the due dates and work that you just shut down? Last week I got there.

It is time for midterms and those deadlines are piled on top of a full TA schedule, two part-time jobs, my other school work, and an article that is due in two weeks. I was writing down everything that is due on a list and by the time I was finished I put down my pen, walked to the living room, and started watching TV. This rarely happens to me, but sometimes there is so much to do that a switch seems to flips on and for a little while, although time is so precious, I do absolutely nothing.

A little while back I talked about ways that I keep my head afloat throughout the semester. I would say 9 out of 10 times, those tips keep me ahead of schedule and on the ball,  but no matter how prepared a person gets, sometimes your schedule is just too much.

Another problem is that when you get to where I was last week (watching ‘House Hunters’ instead of reading those chapters that are due) and vocalize it to friends, some advice can actually make the situation worse.

However, my guiding light was found in a quote I stumbled upon: “Even when it’s hard to move, take small steps forward. Every step forward will lead you further than you were yesterday.”

So here’s my solution when you’re drowning—figure out and try to do the smallest most accomplishable tasks. You need to read a whole book in 3 days? Just read the introduction tonight. That 20-page paper that is haunting you? Open up a Word document and list the subheadings…then walk away. When you are drowning, even if you just take a few miniscule steps forward, you are making a dent which means you are closer to finishing.

Remember, it will get done. You may not know how or when, but it will. Take those wins, however small…they help get you out of the hole.