Raise your hand if you are feeling overwhelmed.
During this season of the year, planning and preparing for events, completing projects, and setting goals for the New Year can feel like burdens instead of the exciting opportunities they are meant to be.
Tackle BIG projects without overwhelm
I wrote a tip series on tackling BIG projects to remind myself as much as others of how to tackle BIG projects without becoming overwhelmed. For a downloadable copy, visit my tips page. It is series #4.
It seems like December can easily overwhelm us. With end-of-the-year deadlines, holiday obligations, and making time for family and friends – we stretch our energy, our finances, and our sanity. Instead of enjoying all of the season’s festive activities, they overwhelm us.
In this tip series, we will explore 5 practical tips that apply not only to holiday projects or work projects but anything that might easily overwhelm you.
5 tips for tackling BIG projects:
#1 – Pace yourself
At the outset of any project, assess the task, available resources, and your calendar. Map out a plan that allows for delays and accounts for everything else on your schedule. Don’t take on something you can’t reasonably do. Saying “no” is acceptable. Take on projects that match your priorities and your skills; then make a plan to pace yourself from start to finish.
#2 – Chunk and choose
Every project is composed of many parts. Organize the parts into “chunks” of related tasks. Choose what needs to be done first and set up a timeline for each set of tasks. Create a system to keep track of the details. With a plan in place there is no need to worry about future tasks, just take them one at a time.
#3 – Delegate and share
Big projects are best accomplished with a team. Is there a task that doesn’t match your skill set that someone else could do better? Could you hire outside help to get some tasks done? When someone asks what they could do to help – be ready to say “yes” and provide them with the necessary pieces to get the job done well. Don’t go it alone – share the work.
#4 – Persevere!
Plan plenty of small tasks so that most days you are able to check something off your list and keep moving forward. When delays and roadblocks happen, and they will, take a deep breath and find a way around to keep moving forward. Sometimes you will discover something “important” wasn’t necessary. Don’t give up!
#5 – Celebrate fully!
Don’t finish up a project so exhausted that you can’t enjoy the fruits of your labor – be sure to put these tips into practice. If you’ve paced yourself, chunked your tasks, delegated and shared the load, and persevered, you’re ready to celebrate your accomplishment. Give yourself permission to stop and savor this good feeling before tackling your next big project!
Now that December is drawing to a close – I am thankful I heeded my own advice. Deadlines were met, a workshop was successful, parties were hosted, and family has arrived and is sharing the baking and cooking – providing the time, energy, and resources to enjoy a break from the routine and make memories. May your holiday be merry and bright!
“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year.”