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How to Break Down the Mental Barriers of a Mammoth Task

It’s crippling. When a task ahead of you is so overwhelming, you can’t even start.

In reality, the work Is often pretty reasonable. You’re capable, but the sheer amount of work, or the intimidating pinch points you know you’ll encounter, are terrifying. Having a boss to report to can sometimes push you through it. You’ve got no choice. But when you are running your own business, you’ve only got yourself to answer to.

Think of it like a big meal. A staggering plate of food can steal your appetite before you’ve even started. Like the overwhelming job ahead of you, it’s all about perspective and attitude. Tackling the mental barriers reveals the reality of the situation.

So what do you do?

Break it down

The trick is one step at a time. Break it down into bitesize pieces. It sounds surprisingly simple, but it can be a challenge. You can’t jump from a mammoth project to tiny day-to-day tasks. Start bigger and make your way down.

What are the main core sections? Identify the big milestones and target points. You will probably start to map your journey from A to B, but don’t worry too much about your step-by-step just yet.

Once you know the most important stages, you can go further. Think about what you need to do to achieve these milestones. Depending on the project you are facing, this might take several steps. Eventually, you’ll be left with a large collection of small, individual tasks. At this stage, they are far more manageable and conceivable, but all contribute to the success of your larger project.

Pace yourself

When you’ve broken your project down, it can be tempting to dive in. This motivation is a great thing, but you don’t want to burn out. Pace yourself and plan ahead.

Take the meal analogy. Gorging from the outset will leave you struggling much sooner. Slow down and take your time. It will be much easier to sustain your drive if you don’t use up all your energy.

Consider your timing

This is where your plan starts to properly take shape. Some timing is obvious – you wouldn’t have dessert before your starter – and some tasks will need to be completed before you can go onto the next.

Others will take more consideration. Be honest with yourself about how you work best. If you find motivation difficult to sustain, start with the most difficult tasks. This leaves you with easier jobs you can complete quicker, giving you a boost of accomplishment and motivation.

A general rule is to strictly prioritise. What are the most important jobs that will help you to make real headway? These might be more gruelling or could be surprisingly simple. Regardless, prioritise your energy where it will make the most difference.

With every intimidating task it's the mental barriers that are holding you back. Taking the time to refocus, evaluate and plan out your next steps can remove the fear and get you going. It's the same with any problem your business is facing. Time taken now will benefit you in the future.

If your business has any bottlenecks, we're here to help. Get in touch by giving us a call on 020 3286 2866 or drop me a message on LinkedIn. Let's chat!

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