July 19, 2010

Tackling that Impossible Project

When faced with an overwhelming task or project I quite often avoid it and spend time worrying because I have not started it. It is like carrying a weight on my shoulders. Does this sound like something you are facing right now?

Do you sometimes feel like your project is loaming over you like Mount Everest? It appears so big that you may wonder how you will tackle the project and even where to start. Procrastination sets in and you probably find any excuse that other tasks need your attention instead of your big important project. As the deadline approaches you finally start the project only to find out you do not have enough time or make mistakes because you are rushing to finish it last minute.

Here are several tips to help tackle that project and to stop your worrying.

· Cut that Mountain Down to Size – You can start by listing all the steps to complete your project. By making a list in manageable “chunks”, your project will start to appear possible. After you list all the steps then put them in order. Using an Excel spreadsheet will allow you to put your task list in order.

· Create Milestones – Think about a road trip with milestone signs along the way indicating how many more miles to your destination. Draw a timeline for your project with the target date at the end. Determine how long each of your tasks will take to create target dates within your project when major steps must be accomplished to complete the project on time.

· Take a Task at a Time – Now that you have smaller tasks it is easier to get started. Start by taking just one task on your list and complete it today. By taking just one task at a time, soon you will realize that you are almost done. You will feel a sense of accomplishment every time you make a checkmark next to one of your tasks.

· Reward Yourself – Every time you finish a milestone celebrate your success by rewarding yourself for your accomplishments. Your reward could be to do something you really enjoy, a break, or to have a special treat.

· Find an Accountability Partner – Telling someone about your project and milestones to hold you accountable to do what you said you would do, is a great technique. If you can find someone who is faced with a similar project you can hold each other accountable.

Next time a project feels daunting, remember this quote:

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu
Chinese philosopher (604 BC - 531 BC)

Take a single step in your project and then another and another and before you know it, you have tackled what looked like an impossible task.

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