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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
Individual, Couple and Family Therapy
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Small Chunks

November 2003


Have you ever had a big project to get finished, either at home or work, and every time that you looked at it you got overwhelmed? Congratulations, you are very human! Most of us get overwhelmed when we look at the entire garage that needs to be cleaned out or that huge project that our boss wants finished. If we are slightly, or more than slightly, depressed, that makes the chore even more impossible to complete or get started.


So what do we do? First, take a deep breath and do not run away from the job. Avoiding something does not make it go away no matter how much we may wish. Second, break the job into small chunks. For instance, for that overwhelmingly messy garage? Look at one corner of it and clean just that corner. Do not even look at the rest of the garage. Make a commitment to yourself to clean just that one corner. You do not have to do any thing else. The other way to cope with it is to set a time limit. Get out a timer and set for a reasonable amount of time for you to work, for instance, thirty minutes. When the timer goes off, stop working.


What usually happens when we work with small chunks is that we no longer feel overwhelmed. We can cope with the job in front of us. We are no longer frozen or trying to hide. Every job can be broken into smaller pieces; however, you may need a little creativity to do so.


And with all of the holiday projects coming up, breaking them up into smaller chunks may just allow us to enjoy the season!


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