What to do when a task seems overwhelming?

How many of you procrastinate? Or maybe you don’t relate to procrastinating, but you do feel overwhelmed whenever you get appointed a big task that seems too much too handle. Yet when you are done with the tasks it doesn’t seem so ‘big’ anymore. As if it magically changes into something you can cope with. Can you relate?

Clarity is key.

That’s what I like to think. Before even starting with a task, I like to write down what is expected of me, what I need to do and why I need to do it. Then I make an estimate of how much time it will likely take me to do it and I start to think of a plan. If it is a document I need to write, like an article or a Thesis, I start by writing the key-topics that I need to write.

Small steps are key too.

Another thing I find really helpful is to break the task down into smaller attainable tasks. So whenever a project or tasks seem too big too handle, why not break it down into smaller parts? And if it still seems to big, break those down too. Until the steps you need to take seem easy enough to get you going. And once you start taking those smaller steps, achieving them, you gain momentum which helps you to keep going.

Give yourself credit.

We can be very demanding of ourselves that we forget to celebrate the victories, no matter how small. So if you achieve one step of your plan, why not celebrate? Give yourself credits for it. Maybe eat something nice or say some kind words to yourself. It is OK to be proud of yourself. Better yet, it is very important! There is a difference between arrogance and confidence and being proud of yourself belongs to the latter. It is a matter of self-love and self-acceptance and it doesn’t do harm. So be proud of yourself for thinking of a plan to achieve the big task, for trying to achieve it, or even for recognizing that you are slacking.


Clarity: what do you need to do and when do you need to do it? How much time does it take? And can you already create a small overview of key-topics?

Small steps: break it down. Divide the big task into smaller steps and continue to divide them until you have reached steps that you are confident enough to take.

Be proud: Be proud of yourself. You are capable of more than you think and every step you take is one to be proud of. Take a daily moment to appreciate who you are.

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