I give you permission to get rid of one of your projects. That’s right! Get out the erasure or white-out and make it disappear. I heard this idea on a podcast and it was a light-bulb moment because I have a few projects on my to-do list that I never seem to get around to making time for. And frequently I juggle several projects at the same time, rotating my focus among them like a honey-bee moving from flower to flower but without the progress. How about you? How many projects do you have going on right now? If you’re working on more than one at a time, can I strongly suggest that it will not work out very well? It’s much more effective to whittle down the list and pick only one thing to work on until it’s finished.
If you have more than 3 priorities you have no priorities. -Jim Collins
But how do you choose which one to delete? Here’s a process to help:
- Read or think through your project list and give each item a star rating. 3 stars means your life will not feel complete unless you finish or it is a must-do project. 2 stars represent a worthy goal that should be done but it may not need to be done by you. 1-star items are likely those goals you felt like you were supposed to do but for the wrong reasons (hint: If your motivation is guilt-driven you have a 1-star item).
- Now look back through your list. If you have an item with 1 star, go ahead and say goodbye. Do whatever you need to do for closure but take it off the list. Set it free and don’t look back.
- Now review the 2-star items. As you think about each one, decide if it is a future thing or a never thing. If it’s a project you have carried forward from month to month or maybe from year to year, especially if you’ve carried forward more than once, it’s probably time to let it go. For each 2-star item, either move it to your maybe-someday list or remove it altogether.
- Out of the 3-star items, pick up to 3 you are excited to work on. Then choose the one that energizes you the most. This is your now-thing, the one-thing you’ll work on until it is finished or comes to whatever conclusion makes you happy.
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