15 Jul Five Tips to Smooth Transitions
We recently moved from NC to MN. I feel blessed to be able to say we have had a smooth and seamless move. I first give credit and thanks to God for allowing it to all come together. It is a gift I consider showered on us. At times no matter how much planning you do or how organized you are, things can have hick-ups. We can’t control everything, but we can do our best to strategize in a manner that will set us of for less headaches and better results. Here are 10 tips to consider if you are about to undergo a transition. I am thinking mostly about a MOVING transition, but this can be applicable for other transitions too (job change, role change, having a baby, getting married, life changes, etc.)
1) Start early. Don’t wait. Do non-essentials first. Two months before we moved, I was ready to start packing. While it seemed a little early to be packing up curtains, candles and home decor, it was not needed for us to live in the house. It felt a little empty, but keep it in front of me that the move day was coming, I needed to keep chipping away at transition details and it felt good to have things packed and not even miss them. Almost makes you feel like you can just give the boxes away vs. move them as the open space can feel good too!
2) Don’t underestimate. If you finish early great. As with any goal setting, humans naturally underestimate how much time something actually takes to accomplish. Push yourself to do one more step then you think is needed in a day. It usually takes a little longer than you think!
3) Don’t try and do it alone. Ask for help. Be open. My wonderful husband, a chronic independent worker, does the task in front of him; does the best he can and when he is out of time… that is how it is. With moving, there are often more items on a persons plate and getting some help to actually complete the “more than a person can do” list is necessary. The Thurs. PM before the loading truck came, Mike was feverishly working to pack the garage, that housed his very extensive workshop, tools and materials. He had about 20% done at the start of the day. Fortunately, he was finally ready to ask for help and our 2 neighbors we available to come and help him pack it. They finished at 1AM! Sometimes it seems that only YOU can do something, but the truth is there is often a way others can help if you are open to it.
4) Use lists; Don’t try and remember things in you head. When stress is high and you have new unusual tasks, don’t try to be a super person and strain the brain. Just write it down. It will let you move faster, more efficiently and accurately. Plus, you will feel better with a sense of accomplishment as you see the list evolving!
5) Give yourself time. Be open up time. Block time in your calendar for transition activity. Remember if you don’t direct time, it will direct you and you will not feel like you ever have enough time to get to the transition stuff.
In general if you do a little preparing, plan your schedule, and block your calender you will be able to stay focused and keep moving forward. As you stay in the present not getting stuck in the past or consumed by the unknowns of the future, you can keep stress to a minimum and move through the transition with less bumps and more ease.
Transitions can be difficult, so do yourself and favor and create the structure, systems and focus to keep you move forward so your period of transition is small instead of on-going for a longer time if you prolong and get hung up in the process!