Scott Postma

A blog about the Great Books, the Craft of Writing, and Human Flourishing.

Leveling Everest

We all face what seem like insurmountable endeavors from time to time.

These Mount Everest-sized projects can overwhelm us. For some they tend to rouse unhealthy anxiety, frustration, or even despair.

Mount Everest

photo credit: Xiquinho Silva

When we are overwhelmed, we procrastinate. If continued, it becomes equivalent to paralysis. And paralysis is the opposite of productivity and creativity.

Whether the monstrosity was dumped in your lap or you just bit off more than you can chew, every mountain can be scaled with the right equipment and enough time.

Here are six ideas to help you level your Everest a little.

  1. Take a deep breath. Seriously, take a deep breath. If it was the end of the world, you wouldn’t be reading this right now—and none of it would matter anymore anyway.
  2. Determine whether this Everest is actually yours to climb or not. Maybe it belongs to someone else. Maybe. Does this mountain have to be climbed at all? Does it have to be climbed today? Can you climb it tomorrow or next week? Prioritizing is nothing more than planned neglect. Think of it as purposed procrastination.
  3. Write it down. Make a detailed outline of everything. Evaluate and analyze deadlines, requirements, parameters, and all necessary resources. Include purchases you need to make and people you need to consult.
  4. The calendar is your compass. Break the ascent into camps, and break camps into steps. Put them on the calendar and make appointments with yourself. This is your map. Follow it one step at a time.
  5. Be consistent. Show up every day. Use your calendar. Consistency over a prolonged period of time is the key to safe and successful climbing.
  6. Practice the Golden Rule. The golden rule for all mountain climbing success is this: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.

If there’s something you can add to the list, share it with us in the comments.

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About Scott Postma

Scott is a writer and teacher living in North Idaho. He loves teaching the Great Books, writing and blogging, and collecting more books than he'll ever read in a lifetime. You can subscribe to the tribe and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.

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