Do you have a lot of things on your mind that need to get done, but you tend to procrastinate?
Without trusted systems in place, it’s may seem like procrastination is the only viable option— especially when your mind is clouded with so many concerns. We want you to know that this is normal, and you are not alone. We want to help you achieve clarity and peace of mind, and today, we’re doing that by turning problems into projects! (Simply click below to watch the 3-Minute Video, or scroll down to read the show notes.)
The secret to transforming “problems” into projects is making them feel actionable. (It’s like a magic trick you can use to feel a big LIFT in your life!)
In the video, I provided 3 example problems (and the 3 projects you can extract from them!). Here’s what we discussed:
3 “problem” examples you may be facing:
1. You’re feeling tired all the time.
2. Your office is a mess!
3. You need to move forward on something in your business or professional life, but it feels too difficult–or you’re feeling stuck.
You may be thinking to yourself, “April, I’ve got WAY more than 3 problems keeping me up at night!” And that’s okay! If you want to do a brain dump and write all of the problems you can think of on a piece of paper first, then pause and do so now. To avoid overwhelm and build momentum from the start, try to limit yourself to just picking 3 problems that you will focus on for now, and then move onto the next step!
3 ‘Project’ examples you could move forward:
Now, it’s time to dive in and find the projects we could create in order to tackle those previously-mentioned problems!
1. If you’re feeling tired all the time (maybe due to poor sleep at night), do you need to establish a better nighttime routine? Do you need to fix a health issue or find the right doctor? Do you need to get more exercise during the day so you’re tired at night and able to fall asleep more easily?
These are all examples of projects that you could actually create and control. You may not know what the one-stop solution will be, but establishing steps toward eliminating your bigger problem will build momentum.
2. Maybe your office is a mess? Rather than worry about the entire space, could you clear just your desk space? Start by sorting what is active and needs attention into one pile, and everything else that’s inactive or needs to be filed or put away in another pile.
Just taking that first step and getting your desk clear may give you the momentum you need in order to tackle those other lingering projects. If once you clear your desk, you feel like you’re ready for more, then maybe it’s time to consider investing in a class or training of some sort. (Like our class: How to Finally Stop Drowning in “Piles”! In this free training, we teach you how to build a Command Central, which we’ve linked for you below).
3. Perhaps you need to move forward with something in your business or professional life. It’s common to feel like there is just SO much that needs to be done, but what if you broke the big things down to make them bite-sized? What would be one thing you could do this month that would make the MOST difference? Is that getting a better system set up for a service you provide? Maybe getting a new accounting system, hiring an assistant, or figuring out your routines?
When you have specific projects that help you overcome challenges you may be facing, you start to feel empowered and motivated! If you have a tendency to think about problems, we encourage you to write down 3 problems you have right now and then write down just ONE project that can help solve each of those projects. That project is what you’re going to work on during the month.
We generally recommend having no more than 7-8 projects that you are working on simultaneously. But even just making your simple list of projects you could work on this month will (hopefully!) help you to see that you have control in how your life moves forward and that you can make a change and difference in the world, too!
When you have your life set up where you’re steadily moving forward in the right direction, it reduces the feeling of overwhelm because you know you have things to do that are actually making an impact, and that is when your life really changes!
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Mary F Harrington says
Thanks for not giving up on me! I don’t always read the post, but this one was really helpful for me.
April Perry says
Love this tip! I would like to have some more clarity, when you say that 7-8 projects can be tackled in one month. I find it very hard to define a project, is it something that can be done in 1 week? For example, most of my projects are of 1-week or 1-month duration and some of them take a lot of heavy cognitive efforts, which slows me down. How do we balance and divide our efforts among the various projects to ensure that we are not doing too much? In other words, my typical struggle is to know how to choose and decide how much I can handle in a given month.
Possibly, you have an intuitive way of handling 7-8 projects in one month, which comes naturally to you. So I was hoping maybe in a future video, you can unpack this concept to see how this may look like in practice. Thanks so much for all that you do for the learn do become community!!
April Perry says
This is a great question! I’ll add it to my list of video/podcast ideas, but the brief answer is to think about how you go to a buffet lunch and fill up your plate. You wouldn’t put 12 steaks on your plate. You also wouldn’t put JUST light vegetables, if you wanted to feel satisfied. I look at my month ahead and consider my responsibilities, routines, travel schedule, big events, etc., and then I make the best assessment of how much time and energy I will have–and I create projects that could be finished by the end of the month. I try to err on the lighter side because I can always add more if I get them all done. But I don’t like the feeling of being “behind,” so if, during the month, I realize I “put too much on my plate,” I take some off and move them to “Next in Line”. You know your project list is “just right” if you look at it and think, “Okay, this feels good.” Hope that helps!!