Maintaining Momentum

Tasked with several large scale, clean-up projects and somewhat urgent repairs, I’m finding it hard to stay focused. Where to start? How to prioritize? And most importantly, how to maintain the momentum once I get going?

With the amount of backlog crushing in, finding and maintaining a foothold feels daunting. At times my pace seems glacial. Alongside the pace is the sensation of never making progress anywhere. This sentiment persists, despite accomplishing a number of tasks. Time slowed as we stumbled through the pandemic. It feels like a bad and distant (two-year long) afterthought, except for all the things that kept piling up during the dark times. Though I should confess, some of the work bogging me down is self-inflicted.

For example, this summer I decided to transform the entire backyard into an oasis of native, pollinator-friendly plants. The catch is that I don’t enjoy long hours of gardening. And I’m more than a little clueless. Of course I could have planned the work in sections, but every year the invasive species remain, they get stronger, thicker, and denser. My solution, thus far, has been to work in small installments when I can. And outsource what I can afford to the professionals.

Other projects, however, are critical and require immediate care. Last fall my nose twitched madly at the rank odor of mold in the house. After some olfactory sleuthing we discovered the culprit, a leaky basement window. Naturally, this necessitated prompt action resulting in the removal of all the moldy parts from the affected room. The warming weather prompted me to start the long process of securing a contractor to get the window fixed. Since the pace is slow waiting for people to respond and prepare assessments, it’s easy to let this vital project slip a little. Also, the window is in the far corner of the basement and it doesn’t smell like mold anymore.

Lately my strategy is to sprint when I can. As soon as I have a bit of free time and energy, I set the timer for at least 20 minutes, crank up the tunes, and work like crazy. When I can’t devote time to physical work, I take mental notes. Then plan out my next major task when the time is available. It gets frustrating with so many starts and stops, but slowly I’m seeing a few signs of improvement.

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