Last week we got 24 inches of snow in Connecticut. My car was safe and out of harm’s way in the garage, but as I witnessed the snow piling up and the wind blowing it started to occur to me that I needed to do something with all the snow in the driveway or I would be stuck for days.

I had no one to call to plow. The roads were closed to anything but emergency vehicles anyway. It was very clear that it was up to me to dig out.

Faced with a 50 foot long driveway and two feet of snow, I knew I needed a strategy. The task seemed overwhelming so my plan was to “chunk it down” and break it up into a manageable workload. In other words, I shoveled 15 feet at a time. Then I came inside, stretched on my yoga mat, grabbed something to eat or drink, rested for an hour, and repeated this until the driveway was cleared.

The result was I managed to shovel all this snow without hurting myself and without even any muscle soreness.

What was the lesson?

Very often we are overwhelmed by projects and our to-do lists. When things begin to pile up, we tend to get overwhelmed and sometimes paralyzed by the amount of work we need to complete. Add family responsibilities and other obligations on top of the work load and we stress out.

A strategic approach and “chunking it down” makes any project doable without some of the harmful after effects like burnout, stress, insomnia that may accompany our sense of overwhelm.

What project on your to-do list seems overwhelming to you right now? Can you “chunk it down” and spare yourself the stress?