I’ve got some big projects on my plate this year. Bet you do, too.
Perhaps, like me, you have those moments where you take a good look at all you have to do and wonder how you’ll ever tackle, manage, conquer, or even simply get through them.
You may feel twinges of anxiety and doubt and experience thoughts (or even nightmares) of being unprepared and alone. Metaphorically you may even feel a little like a newbie cage fighter tossed into the ring with a monster of an opponent that, from your limited perspective, seems bigger, stronger, and more vicious and daunting than what you ever bargained for.
You could be saying to yourself, “Wow. What am I doing? What the h_ll was I thinking?”
Never fear. It’s simply time to pause, breathe, pour yourself a cup (or glass) of something soothing, and think back to all the times you’ve tackled, managed, and flat-out owned dozens, perhaps even hundreds of other challenges in your life and career.
How did you do it?
I’ll tell you how. You got calm. You got strategic. And you summoned all the people, resources, strategies, and tactics you could think of to help you along the way.
Here’s the list I came up with recently while in the throes of serious overwhelm. It’s all the things I’ve done in the past to Get Big Things Done and face stuff that scares the beans out of me. See if you agree that these work – or are at least worth trying. Maybe add in a few of your own.
Prep & planning
- Identify, commit to and focus on the goal. (Seriously. If you’re not clear here, everything will seem fuzzy and difficult.)
- Set a deadline.
- Concoct a plan, strategy & schedule.
- KISS – Keep it Short & Simple.
- Make a list of the Five Things you need to do each day to achieve the goal. (A nod to John C. Maxwell here; this has become one of my favorite new tactics.)
- Do these Five Things each day.
- Set mini-goals or benchmarks.
- Educate yourself; do your homework.
- Invest in the right training, equipment and supplies.
- Be willing to learn new things, open to possibilities, and have your perspective changed.
- Allow yourself to grow into the goal or challenge mentally, physically, emotionally, even spiritually.
People (This is where having an Intentional Network comes in handy!)
- Don’t expect that you can accomplish Whatever It Is alone.
- Surround yourself with smart, savvy, supportive, smiling people.
- Ask for and take note of advice, feedback, and support.
- Call in a few favors.
- Listen to your critics and advisors. However…
- In the end, respect your own wisdom, heart, and intuition.
- In short, do it the way you believe you should do it.
Along the way
- Take it one week, one day, one hour or even one minute at a time.
- When the short term view gets dull, look at the long term view.
- And vice versa.
- Do your best to be persistent and positive.
- Appreciate and enjoy the journey.
- Have fun.
- Watch for and celebrate signs of progress.
- Expect occasional “breakdowns.”
- Know these low points will pass and, if you’ve played your cards right, there will be people to help you through them.
- See obstacles and problems as opportunities to be creative.
- Keep going even when it’s hard – push to the next level of discomfort or fear.
- Note that this is often when you have massively affirming turning points.
- Realize that “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” (Thank you for that, A.A. Milne)
- Allow for some well-timed rest periods (for me, this would be daily naps) and distractions.
- Mix work with play.
- Allow for rest, recovery and reflection.
- Feed and nurture yourself regularly.
- Look for lessons along the way, from both the little triumphs and the frustrating setbacks.
- Encourage others on similar journeys.
- This will help you see how far you’ve come.
- Learn from your mistakes.
- Laugh at yourself. A lot and often.
- Be proud of all you have accomplished.
Surely you have items you could add to this list.
What gets you going, gives you courage, and sustains you when you’re facing big projects and challenges?
Speaking of big projects: I bet you know of a conference, association, or organization where my workshops, presentations or coaching programs would be a good fit. Please pass my information along to them. I’d be grateful. Want to see me in action? Click here.