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One thing at a time

The “O” from IMPROVE is “One thing at a time” – this is my mantra. I say it to myself at least once a day. I easily get overwhelmed by work, but as soon as I remind myself that every small step I take will eventually allow me to achieve a larger goal, I feel calmer.

Recently, I was given a complicated project to work on. That night, when I returned home, I cried, worrying about if I was smart enough to figure it out. I told myself, “when I get to work tomorrow, I’m going to start by opening the documents and reading them through. If I continue to feel like I don’t understand what I’m doing, I can ask my coworker to clarify the work to me again.” The thing is, I didn’t want to ask for help, because she had already explained it to me. I didn’t want to seem incompetent or slow. I was having plenty of judgments about myself that night.

The next morning, I started small. I turned on my computer. It would be hard for me to do my work with my computer off. I had to remind myself, “one thing at a time!” Next, I opened the documents and started reading. I also browsed through the different folders I needed to work on. I quickly realized that I had jumped to conclusions the previous night, because once I started it all became so clear to me! I was so grateful!

Since I had completed most of the work, I was more comfortable asking my coworker some questions. I was able to show her that I understood and that I was solving challenging problems on my own. I finished the work far before the deadline. I managed to do this with my “one thing at a time” mindset. The project seemed like a daunting task until I looked at each individual task within it.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?

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