How to Overcome the “freeze” and Achieve the Goal
With the busiest part of the holiday season behind us, many people are looking to the future, including taking on an ever-growing to-do list. But why is it that the more you have to do, the harder it is to get started?
This is what is known as an “overwhelming freeze,” and however it affects your productivity (and mental health), it can also be overcome. Here’s what you need to know.
What is a staggering freeze?
Also known as “task paralysis,” a staggering freeze is when you know you have a lot to do but feel powerless when it comes to getting started. It’s not that you don’t know where to start – although that can certainly make a difference – but how to start. This is because your brain perceives your growing to-do list as a threat and reacts by freezing (as opposed to fight or flight).
“With a large overflowing to-do list, this threat can be a threat of failure or a threat to let others down,” Ellen Hendricksen, clinical assistant professor at Boston University’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, recently told New York New York . times . “It can be a threat to feel stupid or incompetent because we don’t know where to start or how to do things.”
How to overcome severe frost
Fortunately, there are strategies to overcome excessive freezing, including:
There is nothing revolutionary about making a to-do list , but it can be so important that it is worth mentioning. And we’re not talking about a mental list: we’re talking about writing a list of tasks that you need to complete.
As you do this, break down any big job into smaller, easy-to-do steps and mark them off on your list as you complete them. For example, instead of writing “clean the kitchen”, break it down into things like washing dishes, cleaning counters, mopping floors, etc.
Seeing a long written list of things you need to get done may seem even more overwhelming at first, but because you’ve broken down a lot of work into smaller steps, you’ll need to check off more as you go, giving you a mental boost and an incentive to move on.
On the other hand, you may feel less overwhelming when you see clearly what you need to do instead of facing what you have created in your head.
Don’t try to be perfect
If you’re a perfectionist, this can be a problem, but try not to linger on projects by doing “finishing touches” to delay moving on to other tasks. Nothing is ever perfect (at least in your eyes), so do every job on your list carefully and well, but once it’s good enough, move on.
Include it in your schedule
Set aside an hour (or half an hour, or even 15 minutes) on your calendar each day to trim down your to-do list . If possible, do this every day at the same time so that it becomes a habit.