We all know how it feels to get dozens of meaningful things started, but how often do your projects get stalled before they pass that finish line?
If you’re like most people, it happens way too often. (Like that baby book I, April, started for my first daughter…I think I completed two pages.)
In this episode of LearnDoBecome Radio, we’re going to share seven reasons your projects are getting stalled–and we’ll offer some simple solutions that will hopefully help you get rolling again.
Please listen and then share in the comments which one of your projects you’re ready to finally check off your list.
Here’s a brief summary of what we discuss in the podcast:
Reason #1: “I don’t even want to do this.”
Not every project deserves our time and attention. Yes, we need to “essentialize.” Yes, we need to say no. Often these projects can go straight to the trash…or to the “Incubation” folder to sit and wait until it’s the right time.
But sometimes, we just need to “put on our big boy or big girl pants” and do what needs to be done.
Reason #2: “This project is taking way too long, and I’m losing motivation.”
We get it. Sometimes the things we think of as “projects” just aren’t happening as quickly as we’d like:
- Finishing a degree
- Writing a book for fun
- Raising kids
- Losing weight
In that case, let’s not think of them as projects. Let’s think of them as goals, and then we can simply establish routines that support those goals.
Taking things off a “projects” list and moving them to a “routines” list eases the stress on our minds and helps us to see that even if we aren’t at the point we can check that project off the list, we are still making progress.
Reason #3: “I can’t get 15 big projects done at the same time.”
We work with thousands of people every month here at LearnDoBecome, and honestly, most of us are trying to do at least 15 projects at the exact same time. Why do we do this to ourselves?
Let’s utilize our “Someday List” that we can review once a month or so or our “Waiting List” that we can review each week. Any project that we can send off to another list for the time being should definitely be moved.
We say this all the time because it is pure truth: Short lists get done.
Reason #4: “I’m stuck.”
Maybe you don’t know how to do the next step in your project. For example, let’s say you started to fix your garbage disposal by yourself, but halfway through (when all the parts were strewn all over the kitchen), you realized that you had no idea what you were doing.
Yes, one time I (April) put 60 egg shells down the disposal, and it was ridiculously clogged.
Here’s what you do:
You stop for a second, and you ask, “What is my next action?” Should I go on the computer and search for information? Should I call a friend or a plumber? Should I just keep fiddling around with it? Should I run by Home Depot to get a replacement part?
In my case, I had a discussion with Eric where I said something like, “Help.” (He was so kind to fix it for me.)
Reason #5: “I can’t find all the papers, details, materials, etc. that I need in order to do the project.”
Yes. We all know how this feels. You finally have an hour to work on that book, and you have no idea where you put the notes you scribbled in the dark the other night when you woke up with a great idea.
Keep all your project materials together in a cubby, a folder, a digital file, etc. so when you have time to work, everything is in one place. Genius. (Thank you, David Allen!)
Reason #6: “I DID finish the project, but it didn’t turn out as planned.”
Maybe you started a new business or tried to make cauliflower rice, and the result was a little bleh.
Here’s a little secret we finally discovered: If you do not currently have the results you were working toward, the project isn’t finished yet.
That was a light bulb moment for me.
Your laundry routine is driving you crazy? You’re not done perfecting it.
Your product launch didn’t go as planned? You can get to work improving it for next time.
Those portraits you tried to take with your new camera turned out quite amateurish? Maybe it’s time to take a photography class?
We get down on ourselves when our results are sub-par, but the fact of the matter is that those sub-par results simply let us know that we haven’t gotten to the end of the project. Keep going.
Reason #7: “I’m discouraged about my whole life, and I don’t want to do any more projects.”
We get tired when we don’t see improvements happening. It’s exhausting to work hard and not get results. We get that.
But now is the time to build momentum. Pick one thing–just ONE–that you can feasibly get over the finish line. Maybe it’s cleaning out your top dresser drawer. Maybe it’s sending that one email that requires a lot of brain power. Maybe it’s sketching your new website and taking a photo of it to put into Evernote.
When you start moving, and when you start getting things done, you will build that momentum you crave. You will start to believe in yourself again. You will get a little lift every time you look at your project list. You will get a burst of dopamine every time you check one more thing off.
This LearnDoBecome community is about movement and progress. We are action-takers, we are goal-oriented, and we do not give up.
So join us! Make this happen in your life. Get just one project across the finish line and then report back. We’re cheering for you!
Want to join us for a free class where we’ll walk you through one of your projects step by step and help you set up a simple framework to get it done? Sign up HERE.
Or would you like a free video tutorial showing you how I (April) personally organize my project list digitally using KanBanFlow so it doesn’t feel overwhelming? Click here to get the video!
(As a note, this video linked above was recorded in 2016. April now uses Asana to organize her project list. You can learn more about that here, How Asana Can Manage Your Projects and Routines (Without Stress!).)
Kelly Smola says
Thank you for this podcast. I laughed so hard at the swing example for the flywheel explanation. You two are awesome and adorable and remind me of my husband and myself. April- I did put my hand up.
@ April, I agree! There are ‘tasks’, and then there are PROJECTS! And don’t worry, you’re not the only one who is been over optimistic about the capacity of the garbage disposal. Mine was uncooked rice…
@Eric, you had me at Homer Simpson!
April Perry says
Oh my goodness–thank you for the heads up on uncooked rice!! I am super paranoid whenever I put anything down the disposal now. 🙂 xoxoxo
I am studying a course. It takes me an hour to get there. But I am never bored. I actually look forward to it because I get to listen to you.
I love the interplay between you two. It is so special.
I also love the way Eric is the “funny man” to your more serious presentation of the subject. It is brilliant!
Taryn Wood says
Helene, thanks for your kind words! We’re so happy you’re here!!