If you are in Kansas City, or Kansas, or have connections, or friends, you have most likely heard or are well aware of the current football scene. We had such a huge game this past weekend. The first quarter was a nightmare, fans were terrified. Our fans not to mention the team was overwhelmed being down so fast. Some lost faith that we could return even though it was early in the game, some of the players even admitted they were hesitant. Don’t worry this is not about football, this is about the leadership and what happened right at this moment. Our local celebrity Patrick Mahomes stepped up and gave his team a pep talk. He said to them, “One play at a time!” I couldn’t help but think of how relevant this is to so many out there.
Even if your not a natural leader or maybe even a leader at all, everyone has things in their life that get overwhelming. Maybe you are a procrastinator or you got behind on a project and now you are procrastinating because you are behind. Maybe you set a lofty goal and you don’t quite know how to achieve it yet. Did your boss add yet another project to your list of other projects and now you need to prioritize things? Or maybe you just have rough days that will never end.
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? We get overwhelmed for a lot of different reasons. During these times we need to take that advice, one play at a time. Take things one step at a time. Break down your projects one step at a time. Start knocking things off your to-do list one at a time. Prioritize the activities that need to get done first, second, and those that can wait a little longer. Start getting them done.
If there is something with your job you don’t know how to do, start by learning a new skill. We usually feel more accomplished when we learn a new skill. Either way, don’t look all the way down the road all the time. Know whats a little futher down the road but keep your eyes on those little things.
I’ve always been a person who has looked or maybe starred at the bigger picture and wondered how I was going to get there. I knew where I wanted to get but had no idea how to get there. I paralyzed myself a lot because of this. I thought I had bitten off a little more than I could chew. I know a lot of people who get overwhelmed by their jobs because they get more projects than they are comfortable with, or maybe they get handed a team to lead which they’ve never done before. When I was figuring out what I wanted to do, I saw the bigger picture and had no idea what steps to take to get there. Maybe this is the part that tends to make people believe they can’t do something.
All you have to do is start to get anywhere. Start taking those steps. Make them small and enjoy the small wins. Celebrate them somehow, and then keep going. Keeping that bigger picture in the back of your mind is important, but taking those small steps is how you get to that bigger result.
I’ve found this is a principle that I have to live by. If i’m working on making contacts or its a day when I have an overwhelming amount of things to do. A day when nothing seems to be going my way, I have to remember to take one step at a time. Make one play at a time to keep moving forward. We don’t move forward or make progress by standing still and starring at the future or our to-do lists. We move forward by chipping away at those projects, we learn to breathe during those rough days and put one foot in front of the other. If we focus on that next play, we know what steps to take next. It worked out well for the Chiefs offense who came roaring back to win 51-31.
I am all for setting goals. In fact, I think its a big part of getting where you want faster. That is if they have a due date to keep you accountable. I also think people get very discouraged if the steps don’t go the way they planned. That’s not generally how life works. We make goals, we take the small steps to get there, and then we shift those small steps to go where we need to go instead of being frustrated the path didn’t stay straight.
Life is messy. People tend to get frustrated trying to achieve the end result. We need to focus on the journey and the things we learn on the way. A lot of times, those lessons serve us the most. We learn to make the goals, and then change them based on where the small steps lead us. But most of all, to get to that end goal and to get us through those bad days, to finish those projects successfully, we take it one play at a time.