I love tea!  When all my friends were drinking coffee in college, I drank tea.  Even when I worked in corporate, I drank tea.  I drank regular black tea, green tea, decaffeinated tea, etc.  Since I drank tea all the time, I found myself collecting many different types of teas.  One entire cabinet in our kitchen was devoted to tea! 

Do you have a cabinet, closet, book shelf or desk drawer you just KNOW you should go through?  And, when you do think about doing something about it, it feels overwhelming.  Do you convince yourself you don’t have time to do it right now?  And, then you tell yourself, you’ll get to it soon… 

Well that’s what happened with me and my tea cabinet.  Every time I opened it, I thought “Gee, some of these teas have been in here a REALLY long time”.  I knew I should go through the teas and at least get rid of the “expired” ones (yes, they do have expiration dates!).  It felt like too big of a job to tackle at that moment, so I’d grab my tea and quickly closed the door.  Whew!  Once the door was closed, the problem seemed to magically disappear (I bet you have felt that way, too, have you?)!

One of my favorite topics over the past year is how can you take teeny, tiny steps to move something forward.  Last week as I opened the tea cabinet and felt the familiar tug that it was time to clean out this cabinet, I decided I would take a teeny tiny step — while my cup of tea steeped, I would tackle the first shelf in the tea cabinet.  I poured boiling water over my tea, then set my timer for 5 minutes.  By the time my tea had brewed, I was looking at an empty shelf!  Wow!  That felt GREAT!  I put the few boxes of tea back on the shelf, closed the cabinet door, grabbed my tea and went back to my coaching work.

When I made the next cup of tea later that day, I did the same thing and cleared out the 2nd shelf. 

My third cup of tea (these are all decaffeinated teas, by the way…) yielded an empty third shelf.

By my last cup of tea, I was proudly looking at one shelf for decaffeinated teas, one shelf for caffeinated teas and an empty shelf!  FINALLY, I had cleaned out the tea cabinet! 

The point here isn’t really about tea.  It is about looking at a project that feels too big to tackle and breaking it down into a very small time commitment to begin to make progress.  All in all, it took me less than ½ an hour to go through my tea cabinet.  That’s all – 30 minutes!  Yet, every time I opened the tea cabinet door, I convinced myself it was too big of a job to tackle and I would get to it later (sound familiar?). 

What project have you been putting off?  How can you use my tea story to find a teeny, tiny way to start your project?

Let me know what you accomplish!  It will be fun to compare notes!

Now, I’m off to drink my tea!

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Helen Kosinski

Since 2005, trusted confidant and sage Helen Kosinski has partnered with small business owners and corporate leaders who are too busy to think straight.Together they unlock creative steps to strip away what isn’t working and replace it with an inventive work life, allowing her clients to freely enjoy what’s most meaningful to them.
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