How to Get the BIG Jobs Done

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How to Get the BIG Jobs Done


Are you plagued by a tendency to put things off?  I do it all the time. I wish I didn’t…but the big scary jobs tend to get put off indefinitely.

Up until this week, I really thought it was because I just didn’t have enough time to do the BIG jobs.  The little jobs are easy but they seem to take up all of my time. So the big jobs just loom…month after month.


A couple of days ago, I had  a very few spare minutes and picked up my favorite book on procrastination by Don Aslett, called, “How to Have a 48 Hour Day.”
   fabric giveaway 011-3000_thumb[1] 
One of his tips was to REVERSE those BIG and LITTLE jobs!
He said that we often put off the big jobs because many times they require risk, change, or make us feel like they are taking up all of our spare time. He said we make the mistake of spending the entire day doing tons of little jobs and as a result never seem to have time to get to the big ones.

What a concept! It was so true. It really is just another form of procrastination. We don’t think we are putting things off--we  think we are too busy..and we are.
I once heard it said that work will always fill the time allotted to it. Is that not the truth?
Really, I think I was just AFRAID to do the big job…afraid of the time commitment..the grueling part…the solid work…the unanswered questions and steps needed to get started.  

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I was afraid the BIG job would take all of my time and not allow me to get the little things done. Now we all know the Lord doesn’t want us to be afraid of anything. I have thought many a time about the fact that There IS ALWAYS ENOUGH TIME.
We have to live our lives trusting that God has given us enough time to do everything that he has called us to do. 
So I decided this weekend to tackle one of the BIG jobs looming in my life. I wrote all about it on Saturday. It was to sell our stuff on Craig’s list and Ebay.


We had a LOT of stuff to sell. And I’ve put off learning to Ebay things for at least a couple of years now.  (Even though my DIL, Ebeth has walked me through it at least once!)

But yesterday, I got up determined to do the BIG job and just trust that the little jobs would get done too. 

Don was right. There are always ‘empty spaces’ in the schedule of a big job, and I was able to do the little things in those ‘breaks’.
This is such an exciting concept!

In fact, it was so powerful that I made a list of my ‘BIG JOBS’.   I was tempted to write them in on the calendar but that would break Don’s other rule.

Raising the last wall!!

Don’t schedule jobs because they may take much less time than you think…or other things will take more time putting excess pressure on you.

Even if I only do one big job a week…that’s better than never getting them done at all.

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Here’s my list of ‘BIG JOBs’…. and Don is right..there’s some big kink or looming problem inherent to most of these jobs. I can see why I’ve been putting them off.

  • Sew Mom’s couch cushion covers. (DONE!!!! Finished this Saturday!)
  • Ebay my ‘little’ things. Finish listing things on Craig’s List (In progress.) 
  • Send Graduation gifts. (Buy necklaces at mall first.)
  • Make a Birthday Calendar and send cards on time!!  (So embarrassing that I haven’t been doing this!)
  • Lose weight. (Started writing in food diary, exercising, counting calories.)
  • Finish our taxes. (We have an extension filed.)
  • Finish my Dad’s taxes and estate work. (Afraid the bank won’t have the records..or I messed up something. All very complicated.)
  • Sew Angela’s quilt top. (Promised a long time ago. Much harder than I thought it would be.)
  • Quilt Aunt Joan’s quilt. (Been at it for years!)
  • Quilt Kim’s Colorado Rockies
  • Paint the House. (Huge undertaking!)
  • Finish Tim’s office. (Don’t even start with this one!)
  • Get out of debt.  Yipes!!
To think, that since reading that one paragraph, I’ve already cleared off one of the jobs and am well on the way to clearing off the second thing.

My daughter still can’t believe the cushions are really finished. (Mom’s amazed too, I’m sure!) It’s a job that’s been looming for so long!

Hoop, flowers, beer bread, craigs list 101-2000

And I never thought I’d learn to EBay.  I know that my poor husband thought he was doomed to be buried in excess furniture. But no…we are finally moving things off the ‘BIG LIST’.

I do hope my experience will help any of you with a backlog like mine. Do you have a problem with procrastination?  What would your ‘big list’ look like? I’m cheering you on!! Just do it! :o)

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Maria Killam said...

Hey this post is right in line with the one I wrote today. The 'big' job that I have been procrastinating about is writing my ebook. I am scheduling time every day this week to work on it. It will make me feel much happier too, that it's not on my 'OMG I'm still procrastinating about that one list".
Great post Donna!

Donna said...

Why did I know you would like this Maria? I think we 'get it done' types suffer a bit because we really aim high. But's scary when you are trying to do something really great. An Ebook is awesome. I didn't put down writing a book yet. :o) But it's in my mind for sure!

I bet yours will be wonderful!


Needled Mom said...

I am a great procrastinator too. I think I work better under a time restraint so it would be good to write it on a calendar. Then again, I may just ignore it!!!!

Caroline said...

I put off the big stuff too. And it drives me nuts to have it always hanging over my head. I like his theory that the little stuff can fit in the gaps ...

Amy said...

Full of hope--we cleaned our garage and I just read this about big jobs. I need to make my list and go for it. Smiles for what you've already accomplished as well as what's coming next:)
(thanks for your encouraging comment--obviously, you've walked the path.)

Donna said...

Yes, Amy..I have. It's a hard one for sure, but you can do it with the Lord's help. Yeah for getting your garage cleaned!!'d be amazed. I am a believer now! Why was I so scared? I don't know.

Needled are so funny..yes..I would ignore it too.LoL!

Jill said...

Great post Donna! This is so true, sometimes there just doesn't feel like enough hours in the day to get everything done. My list always seem to grow and grow every time I check one thing off! LOL
Glad you were able to get some things tackled!


GlorV1 said...

That's a great way of being sure things get done. I have made lists in the past and have completed the list so it does work. My husband and I make a list on January 1 of every year of the things we are going to do and as they get done, we check them off. But you know about that already I'm sure.:)) Donna, on the Wisteria seeds, send me your address, I no longer have your address. I'll send you the seeds. Take care and great post. I sent you an email about the seeds.

Kathy said...

Well, This is challenging! I have a couple of big jobs too - some similar to the ones on your list - Great post on just doing it! I like to break things down into bite sized pieces - like the garden - weeding, weeding, weeding!
Hope you have a great, productive week :)

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster

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