This post was inspired after I read this article in Sydney Morning Herald.
Forgotten projects gathering dust on to-do lists. Why do we start projects enthusiastically and then abandon them?
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Remember that project you started in a burst of inspiration two years ago? You worked on it for two months and then let one day slide, then the next. Now it’s so far down on your to-do list that it causes you to feel guilty. How do I know this? I’ve also got many half-finished projects languishing on my computer’s hard drive.
Before you click away because this post is making you feel guilty, consider this. What if I told you you needed only 1% of effort to complete projects, would you feel better? I will also tell you where to find it.
It’s the 99% effort we put into things that’s mentally exhausting according to the author of the article. I agree. So I’m going to share with you how I found that 1% that always takes my effort total to 100%.
Do a spring clean of your existing projects
Look at the list of things you started one or two years ago. Remove the projects which are now outdated and which don’t excite you anymore. Whittle the list down to 2 or 3 projects that still excite you.
Include your ‘why’
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Why did you get those ideas? What were you hoping to achieve from it? Write these down on a piece of paper and stick it to your desk with your ‘why’ you need to complete those. Will they lead to a promotion, new clients or new skills?
Find 30 minutes
Not everyone can find hours in their day but can you find 30 minutes? It might be first thing in the morning after the kids have left for school, or 30 minutes before you log in to your desk. It might even be 30 minutes in your car or while you’re having a coffee. Find your 30 and tackle one project, even if it’s one task.
Break it down
Eat an elephant one mouthful at a time? Remember that saying? Break down your project into 10 tasks and assign a deadline. Why 10? I get bored and lose interest if it’s anymore than 10 steps I need to take to complete something. The fewer steps the better. Do that task in your 30 minutes. Then tick it off. If you want to write a book, break it down into 10 chapters. Then write for 30 minutes daily either on your laptop or a notebook.
Set rewards against those deadlines to help you get over the hurdle and move on to the next step.
Check your social media before you start your 30 minutes. Put your head down, bum up and focus on the task at hand.
These tips should help you find your 1% you need to complete that project.
Who knows where it can lead you – More clients, new business bestseller book or media gigs?
Do you have any other tips to add to the above list?