“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step…”
As I ascended Mt Shasta the words of John Gray, our leader, echoed in my mind. He had told me to just keep focusing on taking one step at a time. When mountaineering, it is of utmost importance to pace yourself, rest if you need to, and keep focused on just putting one foot in front of the other. If you keep doing those things, you will get to the top.
Through the last few months, a continual process for me has been to refine and simplify my way of doing things. I have had to figure out how, in the absence of external motivation, to keep myself going. I have tried multiple organization and project management methods, and multiple programs and accessories to aid me with that organization.
The realization I have come to is this: I just need to put one foot in front of the other, and focus on that. It seems simple really, but here’s how I have been able to apply that idea to my specific way of doing things.
Getting Things Done as a Motivational Tool
First, I have been implementing the steps of David Allen’s Getting Things Done that I discussed in an earlier post. Far and away the most important aspect of that for me has been breaking down each and every project into specific action steps. The are the equivalent of bite-size project morsels (damn I think I just made myself hungry for desert). Each of these steps isn’t necessarily simple, but they all are completable within a fairly short block of time once begun.
Why is this so motivational? For me, I no longer look at my projects and find myself lost in a sea of uncertainty about what to do next. Every week I spend time planning what to do next, and then the rest of my time is spent doing smaller specific steps, and then checking those off my lists when I complete them. It is intensely gratifying to me to be able to knock off several things within a day, and I feel good about myself and what I have accomplished by being able to see all the things that I have done.
I use a free online program (named Tracks) to organize and track all of my projects and action steps. It’s simple visual layout makes seeing my next action steps and projects easy and encapsulates everything in one place.
So I am hopeful that I will be able to maintain this mindset, keep my progress going, and have great results. I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.