9/22 Update: This project is now live at BuyMyFuture.com

Avoiding The Ever-Expanding To-Do List

After a week of vacation (read: watching Mr. Robot and lounging by a pool), I’m hungry to dive back in to Project Galaxy. But even though I have renewed energy, I’m being very careful with my workload.

One of the biggest struggles with any project is managing to-dos. The closer you get to a project’s deadline the more tasks you seem to have. So how can I (and you) avoid the ever-expanding to-do list?

Opportunities can be distractions

This illustration from the book Essentialism illustrates my point about opportunities perfectly.

Imagine yourself walking down a path. The path is narrow, it only leads in one direction, and you’re moving on a steady pace. This is your initial project plan and list of to-dos. Now imagine yourself walking down the same path, but instead of one direction ahead of you, you have multiple directions to choose from, and all the choices have slowed you to a halt.

While opportunities can seem exciting, they tend to come at a cost. It’s nearly impossible to add more to your plate and not slow down overall progress. Often times we think a new opportunity won’t bring on extra work, but isn’t until we’re knee-deep in the new opportunity that we realize how much it has derailed our overall progress.

Trust your initial plan and heavily evaluate new opportunities.

I’ve had multiple people offer helpful opportunities for Project Galaxy and I’ve politely declined them. It’s not because I don’t value what they have to offer. It’s that I trust my plan and don’t want to put any additional stress or work on my plate.

It should be noted that Project Galaxy is not a one-and-done project. This first go-round is my MVP of sorts, so I don’t have to try to do everything (and from experience know it’s better to do less).

You simply can’t do everything, but not doing everything can still bring success

I know the feeling all too well.

  • What if I don’t seize this shiny opportunity?
  • What if I say no to this person?
  • What if I don’t do every single thing possible??

Earlier in this journal I talked about dealing with my “What ifs.” The same thinking applies for these new ones. I let them have their moment. I take a deep breath. I move forward and stick to my plan.

I’ve stated my goals for Project Galaxy before (reminder: low goal is 100 sales, high goal is 1,000). I’m very confident that the plan I have, the work I’m doing, all of my effort will lead me to my low goal. Hitting that goal is success in my mind. So anything above that is gravy on top.

I’m sure I could be working a lot harder on this project. I’m sure I could be talking to a lot more people. I’m sure I could be gobbling up new opportunities like skittles. I’m sure all of those things (maybe not eating skittles) could generate a lot more revenue for me. But I don’t want a to-do list a mile long. I don’t want this project to stress me out. I’m not doing Project Galaxy (or any of my projects these days) just for the money. I want to enjoy as much of the entire process as possible and I want to know I made choices that helped meet or exceed my humble project goals.

The subject of this journal entry was my big takeaway from a week removed from working on this project. It may not seem like a pivotal thought or moment in Project Galaxy, but it feels that way to me. I have clarity and creativity energy that are being focused in a direction that feels right. I wish more entrepreneurs could experience this feeling with their projects. It’s empowering and exciting.

Day 33 >>

This entry is part of a 60-day journal I’m writing that will share all my planning, strategies, pre-launch efforts, and marketing tactics leading up to a big crazy project codenamed Project Galaxy. Start reading here.