Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jump Start Your Energy for Fall Projects

Make a List
o Create a ‘Finish My Projects’ book using a spiral notebook or composition book. This is your workbook. Write down your ideas on projects, planning and materials lists.
o Write down all of your unfinished projects.
o Add one or two projects you really want to get done if they are not on the list.
o Take a deep breath and feel good that you de-cluttered your mind trying to remember all the things you need to do.
o Having a place to write down your goals & plans is like journaling. It is very rewarding as well as it being a place you can refer to; or reflect upon to see the positive changes you made in daily living or accomplishments made over time.

o List the tasks/jobs in order of importance A, B, C.
o Put the ‘A’ Task/Jobs on a separate page.
o Estimate how much time each ‘A’ task will take. (ie. Re-cover chairs – 1 hr./chair
Total Job= 4 hours).
o If a task/job seems overwhelming or too large, write it down on a separate page. Break it down into 5 smaller tasks.
o Write quickly and easily without dwelling on the details.

Select & Schedule
o Choose the top 3 to 10 projects on your ‘A’ list.
o Determine the total number of estimated hours it will take for you to complete the tasks selected.
o Revise your selection and reduce the number to projects you will undertake in the near future.
o Postpone all remaining projects until after the holidays. Select a date you will review the other projects and make an appointment with yourself to do so. Write that appointment on your calendar in your projects book, home calendar and office calendar and commit to it.
o Use this list to re-organize yourself after the holidays.

Make a Commitment
o Estimate how much time you are willing to contribute to the overall task list between now and Thanksgiving.
o Use a calendar and count up the free time you are willing to contribute. Add a Calendar page in your workbook and pencil in the day, # hours you are willing to work

Establish a Deadline
o Make a commitment to yourself or someone else that you will complete at least (3) of the projects on your ‘A’ List by a certain date, such as before Thanksgiving.

Tackle Easiest Job First
o To boost your energy and get you going, start with the fastest or easiest project.
o This will give you an overall good feeling and sense of accomplishment.
o It will also give you motivation to tackle Project #2 and help you in the planning process.

Organize & List Materials Needed
o Now is the time for details and planning. Choose your next project and do not skip forward to any other project.
o List materials needed.
o Write down each task.
o Re-organize your tasks in order. What needs to be done first? What is next & so on.
o Continue writing until you come to the last step.
o Review your Action Steps.

Start Your Project
o Select a date on your calendar where you allocated free time & commit yourself to it.
o Use your Action Step Check List as a guide/tool when doing the project. It will help you stay focused. Check off each action step as completed.
o Do not answer your phone during project. The less interruptions, the better. You can always listen to voicemail if you get that distracted. Call after committed project time is completed.
o Stop when you have finished the committed hours for that time period. If you have the energy and time to continue, do so until completion of another action step. Schedule the balance of work on the calendar. Again, make a mental commitment to yourself to keep hold that promise.

Be Flexible

o Give yourself permission to stop if you are getting tired or have an interruption that cannot be re-scheduled.
o Avoid unnecessary conflicts by being rigid or short-tempered. Set a boundary with interruptions by family members, saying that your time is scheduled and you will get back to them when you are free. Be kind and firm.
o Re-evaluate your action steps and edit them if they are not working for you.

Finish Your Project
o Be thorough and follow through.
o Getting results in a planned and balanced manner is very rewarding. Besides, it gets our endorphins flowing and gives us that overall glow!
o Avoid procrastination and stress by sticking to the plan and taking time to think it through. Again, follow through until completion.
o If you are getting outside help, plan out your work and complete all action steps required- before outside help arrives on the job. Whether volunteer or paid help, respect of the individual’s time affects your stress level, the relationship and your schedule.
o Be detail oriented and hold yourself accountable for the project. Don’t blame others for your own lack of effort. Be kind, but, be firm with yourself.
o Revel in your accomplishment. No task- big or small, should go without acknowledgement of all the thoughtful planning and effort you invested into completing the job.
o Congratulations, job well done!

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