“Life is sad. Life is a bust. All you can do is do what you must.” -Bob Dylan, Buckets Of Rain
“Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” —St. Francis of Assisi.
When you wait tables, there’s no worse feeling than being “in the weeds.” You’re overwhelmed. You have too many tables, too many orders coming at you at once, and there’s just no way you can provide any kind of timely service.
Life feels like that sometimes. Especially when you’re working on a passion project. You feel like there’s too much to do and not enough hours in the day to do them well. Let alone do them at all. You’re paralyzed. You just wanna curl up into a ball and cry buckets of rain.
What to do?
First, take a deep breath. Take many deep breaths. Remind yourself that this is just a feeling. Like all feelings, this too shall pass.
Second, put on Bob Dylan’s “Blood On The Tracks.” Trust me. You’ll immediately feel better as you listen to one of the greatest albums ever made.
Third, take out a pad and paper and write down everything on your list. Do a giant “brain dump.” Write down everything you think you have to do. Don’t stop writing until you’ve sufficiently exhausted your list (usually no more than 30 minutes or so).
Fourth, go for a walk. Get some fresh air and exercise.
Then, when you return hopefully with a clearer head, look at your list and start prioritizing. Put an asterisk next to the “absolutely necessary” tasks. Decide, make a plan and take one small action step. Just like the server who handles one order at a time, as best they can, you do the same with your list.
Pretty soon, just like the server, you’ll look up and notice that things are happening. You’re getting things done. You’re feeling better. You’re on your way towards doing the impossible.
Then celebrate. Because you just pulled yourself out of the weeds.