Oh gosh, where to start?
Isn’t that often what you say when you’ve got a project to tackle and really, truly have no idea where to begin?
I love Stephen Covey’s phrase “begin with the end in mind”, because it works for me and I see it work for the people I coach. Every. Time.
So let’s say you have a project that looms large. It could be organizing your desk drawers or heading a year- long fundraising drive. Whatever is looming large in your life.
Step #1: Picture the end result- what might it look like when you are done? Visualize it in all its glory.
Step #2: Break it down. What are the various components or steps that can be undertaken? Don’t worry in this step, what the order is, just write down all the elements you can think of- it’s your opportunity to brainstorm with yourself!
Step #3: Read over the list from step #2 and rank them in whatever ranking system makes sense to you; it could be in the order you think they should be done, or in the order of most important to least important, or most fun to tackle down to least fun… whatever ranking makes sense to YOU.
Step #4: Set up a time line to achieve the project. Often called a critical path- it can be as simple as assessing and writing down the amount of time (how many hours or days) each element will take, and also a ‘completion date’ you will work towards. Don’t ignore this step- it’s just as important as the first three steps and will be your guide to follow through.
Step #5: Work your plan! Yes, if you actually do steps #1-4, you will indeed have a PLAN and you what you need to be successful in tackling your project. Follow your plan. And celebrate your wins along the way. After all- you created the plan. Own it, work it, and make it work for you.
Good luck. Feel free to let me know your own ideas for tackling projects and if this seems like it could be useful for you I’d love to hear from you.