I am super excited to attack today’s time management challenge head on!  The idea of being overwhelmed when starting a new project is common – and one I hear often during workshops.

But, before jumping into Real Life Scenario #6 –  “I have a great idea, but I don’t know where to start, and the project is floundering. I will probably give it up and just keep on with my regular routine.” I want to remind you that I’ve been tackling all sorts of time management challenges this month.  If any hit your hot buttons, please click through!

  • “This may sound ridiculous, but I’m so busy, I don’t even have time to read about time management techniques, let alone practice them.”
  • “I’ll look into streamlining my schedule a few weeks from now when I have a little more time.”
  • “When I’m trying to reach a goal, I track my progress on notes of paper that I keep all over the house, and my system is taking me more time than it saves me.”
  • “I want to take steps to use my time better, but I when I slip up I get down on myself.  It’s hard to keep putting the effort in.”
  •  “I’m working hard to use my time better and make progress towards my goals, but it’s sort of a lonely process, and I think it would be more inspiring if I had people encouraging me and noticing the small successes.”

Have you ever had a really good idea for a project – but then became paralyzed because you just weren’t sure how to get the project off the ground?  Then . . . after days, weeks, months, (ok maybe even years) you just decided to forget the project.

[Tweet “The solution to “I don’t know where to start” is a list!”]

My advice – make a list.

Here is some important information about your list:

  • The list can be on paper
  • The list can be on your phone
  • You can create your list using mind mapping software
  • The list CANNOT be just in your head (in your head just leads to more overwhelm)

What can be on your list?

  • Possible steps to complete the project
  • Possible resources needed to complete the project
  • Possible rewards for completing steps in the project
  • Notice I said “possible” . . . keep reading to find out why .  . . 

More important information about your list:

  • It does not need to be perfect
  • It does not need to be perfect
  • It does not need to be perfect (it just needs to be started!!!)

Once you create your list of possible steps needed to complete the project – put the steps into a tentative order.  

Then schedule a time to work on the very first task.  (Bonus points if this first task takes 15 minutes or less to complete.)

The reason I suggest you create a list with possible steps needed to complete the project is to take a “BIG” idea and break it down into manageable small steps.

When we can take a project that might take 30, 50, 80 hours to complete (WOW – isn’t that OVERWHELMING!!) and find a 15 minute task to start with – the overwhelm is reduced.

The project is started.

Life is good!

Be sure to stop back as I tackle Real Life Scenario #7 – “I set my goal and detailed my daily action steps, but the demands of the day always take precedence and real progress continues to elude me.”

image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / freedigitalphotos.net

Your turn!  How do you tackle BIG projects?  What is the most exciting project on your list?  Please share!

Would you like more tips on completing BIG projects?  Consider group coaching.  The Motivated for Action Group Coaching Experience starts soon.  Here you can be a group with like minded individuals striving to create change!

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