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I’m Overwhelmed! How Do I Get Started on my Project?

Bigg Challenge:
Dan says his new job requires him to do a lot of projects. When a project comes his way, he often feels overwhelmed by all the little things that need to be done. So it takes a couple of days to really dive in. He wants some advice on how to get started sooner.

Bigg Advice:
Don’t feel alone on this one, Dan. A lot of people face this problem or a similar one. It can be daunting, wondering how you’ll ever get it all done.

3 tips to help you get started on your next project

#1 – Break it down.
Don’t look at it as one bigg project. See it as a series of small ones. These small mini-projects won’t look so overwhelming. You can complete them relatively quickly and easily.

#2 – Just get started.
Start with something that plays to your strengths or that you think is easy. For example, look over the project and see what tasks require input from someone else. Then reach out to those people.

It’s relatively easy to do – just make a phone call or send an e-mail – and it gets the ball rolling.

Starting with the easy stuff gets the momentum going your way. As you check things off, you’ll feel good about the progress.

Then consider diving into those things that seem difficult. By front-loading, you’ll know that you’ll have it made as the project nears its completion.

#3 – Don’t overload your day.
You have a deadline for the whole project. In Point 1, you broke it down into mini-projects. Plan it out so each mini-project has its own deadline.

By doing this, the project won’t consume you. So you’ll look forward to it more, and you’ll be more likely to dive in each day and keep going.

Give yourself some fudge – time to react, to do things that are more fun, to have some downtime, and to work on something else.

Putting the puzzle together

Here’s an analogy to help simplify this process. Think of putting together a jigsaw puzzle. You have all the pieces on the table in front of you. It’s a mess! So where do you start?

Look for the corner pieces! They’re the easiest to find.

Then look for all the border pieces and put them together. You’ll have the framework in place for the rest of the puzzle.

Now, you can start working on the inside. With the picture of the completed puzzle in front of you, start finding pieces that fit into the border pieces and match each other. Keep going until you’re done.

Create a picture of your completed project in your mind. Then put the framework in place and fill it in. The next thing you know, your project will be done!

Thanks, Dan, for sharing your bigg challenge with us!

What’s your bigg challenge, send it our way –

Our bigg quote today is by Calvin Coolidge, who said:

“We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.”

So to get started, don’t focus on everything, just work on something.

Next time, we’ll discuss why it pays to be late for work. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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(Image by dijani)