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Dealing with backlog and logjam

Ever found yourself with a backlog? From a pile of washing up in the kitchen, to a stack of papers to sort through, to a miscellany of decisions and assorted tasks to plug your way through. Even a collection of thoughts about a topic can backlog into a disorderly queue in your head and jam each other from being expressed.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, a backlog can build up. And the backlog often becomes a logjam: a pile-up of things that all stop each other from moving. You get tense, frustrated. You feel blocked and there’s no room to breathe.

Recognising a backlog is easy: there’s more on your to-do list than you have space for, you’ve been postponing things like a chief procrastinator, and you’re feeling cruddy about your lack of achievement.

Recognising a logjam is a little more subtle: it’s the feeling that you can’t move on anything because there’s so much to do, and you not only feel cruddy about the backlog, but you feel stagnant: you just can’t move.

There are so many tips and tricks out there about which thing to start with, how to organise and prioritise the backlog/logjam, how to create the ultimate list or diagram or task-sorting-algorithm. But sometimes, the only way to get started is just to get started. It often doesn’t matter at all which one goes first: any movement will lead to more movement.

So you start somewhere, anywhere. And the backlog/logjam gets a little space in it, things move around and fall into new arrangements, even falling into order.

Even if you have deadlines on some of your to-dos, just getting started anywhere on anything can help you to get into the space where you can do your tasks and meet your deadlines.

As your clear out the backlog/logjam, you feel a sense of space coming back into your experience. Your shoulders relax, your neck and back feel a little freer. You regain a sense of movement, of flow, of possibility.

And you can breathe again.

Where are you currently facing backlog and logjam? What steps will you take to get going again?

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