Projects That Never Get Done

My clients have them, I have them, and I bet you have them, too. I’m referring to those projects that you will get to “someday”. If you have one of those projects that you really want to accomplish this year, here’s a suggestion as to how to approach it.

First, evaluate the project and decide if it’s still worth doing. You may have been putting it off for so long that you haven’t really considered whether it makes sense anymore. Does it belong to an earlier phase of your life? Does it relate to goals you no longer have? If you never did this project, would it make a difference? Be truthful with yourself. If you decide it’s not worth doing anymore, then strike it permanently from your list of things to do — and eliminate the guilt that goes with not getting it done.

If you’ve decided that it’s still a go, here’s what to do next. Figure out the first step. That’s all, just the first step. Make it a small enough step that it doesn’t seem too intimidating. Then decide when you will do this step. Put it on your to-do list, or add it to your calendar.

Once you’ve done the first step, reevaluate whether it’s worth doing. If yes, then identify the second step and figure out when you are going to do it. Lather, rinse, repeat until it’s done.

Here’s an example. My “someday” project is to review the videos we took when our daughter was little, have them converted to DVD, and get rid of our two video cameras. We transferred most of the movies to VHS after we took them, and some are still in the original format as well. The whole project seems so intimidating that I have been avoiding it.

To take my own advice, I’m going to identify the first step. I think it would be to locate and inventory the tapes. That doesn’t sound too scary, since I know exactly where I keep them. I’m going to commit to myself to get this done by the end of January.

What project has been nagging you, and what will you do this month to get one step closer to making it happen?

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