This is part of what we ate the other night. Yes, just part of what we ate. I think this was wave 1 of our 6-part Chinese New Year dimsum all-you-can feast at PingPong, Dubai Mall. Overwhelming isn’t it? It is a LOT and you don’t quite know how and where to start. This is the feeling I get when I am faced with a big dream or a big project like the 365 project I decided to dive into at the start of the year. But you know what they say when you want to eat that elephant of a dream, chop it into bite sized pieces, eat it, chew it well, pace yourself and enjoy until you get to actually eat the entire elephant. Burp!
This made me think a lot about how I will get to conquer this mission of transforming this blog into a beautiful one, filled with beautiful words, beautiful photographs and, ultimately, beautiful stories about my life with food. So how do I get to do all that in a year? At first, I was my usual neurotic self. I hyperventilated and panicked as my mind goes a million thoughts per second, running around in circles.
“I need to do this, this and this. But I also need to do this and this and this. And I have no idea how to do this, this and this. So how do I? Can I even do it? No, I can’t do it. But I have to do it! But there’s this, this and this? Wahhhhhhhhhh!”
That was me talking to myself in panic mode. Crazy ass sh*t right? So what do I do when I get overwhelmed? It’s not like I have never ever accomplished anything in my life, paralyzed by that seemingly unconquerable wall of being overwhelmed by the task at hand. I’ve got things done, big things I’ve never even imagined myself doing. So I’ve got a bag of tricks myself.
First thing I do? I take deep long breaths: breath in and breathe out. I take as long as I can, perhaps a maximum of 15 minutes, just to calm my nerves and get some nice oxygen into the big grey thing up there.
When I’ve finally got some zen in me, I crack my neck, always a nice thing to do when stress levels are up a notch. Then I pull out a piece of paper or my handy dandy “Things to do” notebook (I have a special separate notebook for that specific purpose. I am OC like that.) and jot down a list of what needs to be done. What’s important is that you get everything: all the crazy voices inside your head, talking all at the same time, onto that piece of paper.
Then, try to group the things that are dependent on each other. Are there things you simply cannot proceed or move forward without doing this one thing? You can’t always get to Step 2 without Step 1, right?
Then, ask yourself: Which is / are the most important items? Which are the more urgent items? The more urgent and more important items get pushed up to the top of the list, of course.
Finally, if you are a true OC like myself, you will chuck the original list and fix the list in an orderly fashion, according to priority and chronologically into a brand new list.
I know this sounds like a tedious process, but it works for me. I’d rather spend the time making that list versus waste time running around like a headless chicken. What has worked for you when you get overwhelmed?
And so, after a month, I finally nailed down a list for Project 365 Beautiful blog! And here it is:
Q1 (January to March 2012): The Jumpstart months
- Start writing
- Install Disqus
- Revamp blog design
- Finalize blog topics
- Find writing voice…Hopefully.
Q2 (April to June 2012): The Focus on Food Writing quarter
- Just keep writing
- Apply learnings from Q1
- Work on improving food writing with Diane Jacob’s Will Write for Food
- Hone social media skills: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and others
Q3 (July to September 2012): The Photography Quarter
- Continue writing…
- Apply learnings from Q1 and Q2
- Review how to use a camera (not on automatic scene mode)
- Practice taking better food photographs
Q4 (October to December 2012): The Food and Blog styling finale
- Still keep on writing!
- Apply learnings from Q1, Q2 and Q3
- Try my hand at food styling
- Start to learn basic HTML, CSS and other useful online *nosebleed* techie design stuff
Does it look like a good, solid plan? Did I miss out on anything? I actually think I am doing a good job with Q1 already. Therefore, I declare it to the world and consider it done! *crossing fingers*
Would you be a dear and help me make sure I really do get to do all these?
Delirious about delicious,
P.S. PingPong Dubai Mall’s Chinese New Year dimsum all-you-can promo is until February 15, 2012. No timings, so you can enjoy this promo for 108 AED per head all day long from Sundays to Thursdays.