For some of you out there, the real “go-getters” of our world, getting things done is second nature. There is no struggle to create, to self-motivate, and to follow through. If this is you, then please go enjoy a few minutes of free time and nice refreshing iced tea on me. Oh, and know that I secretly resent you and your nailed down, perfect ways. However, for the rest of us (and I am FIRMLY entrenched in this camp), we need strategies to accomplish great things.
As I was thinking about this subject and how it pertains to my role as a Program Manager, I realized that I have strategies to do almost everything in my personal life. Do I want to get up early to get somewhere on time? I have a strategy for that! Need to navigate back-to-back-to-back summer activities for my daughter…guess what? I have a strategy for that too. My strategies, as rudimentary as they may be, are extremely helpful to me. They may not always be met with great joy by my family, but as long as we end up at the right place, on time, and with the right clothing and equipment…we’re a success!
So, what groundbreaking, blow-your-mind strategies do I have to impart? Wait for it…
Strategy #1: START your project.
Yep, that’s it…start the project. Mind blown, right? Pre-planning and, dare I say, strategizing your project are all necessary components to success. But, how many awesome projects have never come to fruition simply because they were planned to death but never implemented? I’ve got a pile of ‘em, and I’m guessing you do too. Start your project. Put something, ANYTHING, down in writing. Once the creative juices start flowing, Newton’s first law kicks in. A mind at rest will remain at rest, but a mind churning out that project, will keep churning it out. It is infinitely easier to revise and correct something than it is to create it from scratch. So create something, ANYTHING, and then revise the heck out of it.
Strategy #2: Set a false deadline.
See, I’m really paving new roads here. But, this simple strategy can help motivate you to move at a quicker pace than you would have and it relieves so much stress! This is extremely helpful if you are relying on others to provide materials for your project. Give them a false deadline that allows for the buffer time within your own false deadline. It may seem like a tower of lies, but there are few things more satisfying than handing that project in early!
Strategy #3: Make yourself accountable to someone.
In much the same way that an exercise partner keeps you on track (or basically shames you into not blowing off that early morning workout), forcing yourself to hand over your project for review by someone you respect really encourages you to do your best work. This is the step that will make you do those final, last minute tweaks that make your good work great. Knowing that an eagle eye will be reading your work with the express purpose of finding flaws can be a huge motivator!
OK, now that I’ve rocked your world, I’m off to turn in this article for final editing and review. I’m really trying to beat tomorrow’s deadline – false, of course – which will get it done a full week early. Boo-ya! Then, I’ll enjoy a quick moment of peace, knowing this project is done before moving on to the next one!