Friday, December 18, 2009

Keeping big tasks in perspective

Marian Wright Edelman wrote, "We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee." You can think about this quote in terms of trying to make a difference in the world around you (as Edelman has done in her work with the Children's Defense Fund, but it can also help you think about keeping your daily life, and your school work, organized and moving forward. If you think about a huge task you have to do (e.g., move to a new home, or complete an online course), you can get overwhelmed and end up delaying your progress because you feel hopeless about the task. But if you think about a small piece of that task that you could get done today (pack one box of books; read 10 pages of the next chapter in your textbook; email your professor a question about the concept you are stuck on; etc.), and then do it--and then do that again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next--you'll find that you've made a lot more progress than you thought you could!

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