Hi everyone, this week while we were helping a lovely lady prepare for a house move, the topic of how to get projects finished came up. This lady is almost eighty years old, and is downsizing from the family home of forty years – a five bedroom house – to a smaller three bedroom home. While we were helping her to declutter, we came across several projects that she had meant to do – and still wanted to do – but hadn’t got around to it yet. These included but not limited to:
1. Going back to her painting hobby
2. Finishing her mothers knitting
3. Going through her old diaries and picking out important life events she wanted to remember and share with the family.
4. Completing a piece of crochet she had been working on.
I had worked with her before, so I had seen some of these projects before, and now that she had an imminent house move on the horizon, it was now or never for some of these “to-do’s”. We got to talking about how she was actually going to get these projects done. Here’s some of the advice I shared with her.
1. Decide do you ACTUALLY still want to do them:
When you look at your own projects you’ve been thinking of or procrastinating on, are there some that you don’t want to do anymore? Perhaps you feel bad about that? The reality is, for most of us, we’d need a hundred lifetimes to get through everything we want to get through. So if you don’t feel like doing some of them anymore, give yourself permission to let these projects go. You’re not always going to get to everything on your To-Do list. Allow yourself to drop some tasks.
And if you DO want to do them, then WHY AREN’T YOU?!? Why are you putting them off? Time to get organised and get going on them!
2. A List
A starting point is to make a list of whatever you want to get done. As you read in this blog, I did that myself with some projects I have around the home here. With our client last week, we made a list of the projects for her too.
The items that have sparked these projects also need to be in your line of sight. No point tidying them away. Once they’re hidden, it’ll be out of sight, out of mind!
3. A timeline and a deadline
Next up is deciding WHEN are you going to do them? And what it realistic?
For my client, many of her projects would take quite a bit of time. For example, the old diaries we estimated could take her the guts of a week to go through them if she sat down each evening and looked through them. Meanwhile, her mother’s knitting she might need to potter at that for a month or so.
We only have so much energy and time so we need to plan. Giving yourself a deadline and working back from that will help you plan out how you will achieve your project.
A goal without a plan is just a wish. You know what you want to do. So what’s the plan? Where’s the time coming from?
And if you think something will take a day? then double it – an hour? double it – a month? maybe throw an extra week on that for contingency. Over-estimate how long a project will take to err on the side of caution.
For every single small task or large project, if you don’t allocate WHEN you will do it, it will NEVER get done!
4. Be a bit tougher
Now, while you have to give yourself grace that you can’t get to everything and you’ve only so much energy and so many hours. BUT, at the same time, if you really want something, you’ll find the time for it. You also have to give yourself a bit of a push. These are projects you want to do right? Make your determination stronger than your excuses!
5. Stop putting things off
Stop putting off things you want to do. Our client last week was saying “when I get to the new house, I’ll start doing some painting”….You might say ”when I get my new kitchen installed, I’ll go back to my yoga class”. Why are you putting these things off for some future state?!?!
Why can’t my client paint in the evenings while she’s decluttering during the day? What’s so special about the new house that she gets to paint there? If anything, wouldn’t painting in the evening in the current home help her relax and stop worrying about the move?
Your life is now. If you want to do something, DO IT NOW.
Let me know in the comments what have you been putting off? And will you be giving yourself a push to get started on it? Let me know!