Planning for a Stress Free Project

everystockphoto-59752-oWith the third baby on it’s way, the final room on our second floor needed to be finished. That meant running electrical, cleaning the dusty walls, patching cracks and holes left from the aging plaster, painting and carpeting. That is a lot of work and honestly, seems over-whelming if I just look at the list.

Projects in general are like this. If you look at the whole of the project, you’ll see nothing but trouble. So many tasks, so much to do.

Every project needs to be attacked in this way.

First. List out what needs done.

This is the daunting part of the task. Trying to figure out all the things needed done to complete your project is exhausting mentally. However, it’s a necessary, if not mentally painful, step everyone needs to take. This helps you to see the scope of your job and help to schedule it properly.

Second. Forget the stress.

Stupid sounding step, but this is imperative if you want to continue. As you look at the mountain of tasks stress comes charging in. Often times each task is accompanied by sub-tasks and those have tasks of their own. It can quickly become a monster list of baddies you need to combat to reach your goal.

However, don’t stress out over the girth of your newly written list. Become the next step will help you.

Third. Set you goal time.

For me, it’s easy. Get the room done before the baby is born on September 7th (or before like his brothers). This allows you to break down you daily tasks in the next step.

Fourth. Make an easily achievable schedule.

Sit down with your list, look at a calendar and your other daily duties and start breaking things down.

For instance, one day my task was simply to look at the room I need to work on. That’s it. I can think about how to tackle my complete job and even visualize the end product. Consider how to attack certain areas and gain needed confidence.

Another day I simply scheduled to run one single wire to the basement.

These little goals will help you get excited as you cross finished items off your task list. It will energize you and propel you to the finish line faster than you realize.

Fifth. Get going!

Sure, easier said than done, but once you get all your tasks listed, scheduled and ready to roll it makes your entire job a lot easier. Schedule an hour a day to just work on your project. If I can get to the room, run a wire, drill some holes, patch some cracks, before you know it that room will be done and ready for baby. So far, I’ve done pretty well getting things rolling.

Sixth. Motivate and reward.

Every day you need to find a way to reward yourself. Whether it’s watching an extra episode of a show you enjoy or a few pieces of chocolate. Reward yourself and keep motivated. Don’t give up.

This isn’t a comprehensive guide, of course. These are suggestions. Things that have worked for me.

Are there any steps you take when planning a project?

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