Endless Projects…Done Well… On Time…With NO Stress!
Getting things done fast and with little stress is something everyone should know how to do.
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Saying no to someone or something has to be one of the hardest things that most people encounter. Whether it be at work, school, or just in life everyone always wants to do everything and get it done right. Yet most people end up taking on too many projects, getting stressed, and failing at all of them. Most people will advocate you that in order to destress your life, you need to unclutter your life by taking on less, but I’d argue that it’s not what you take on it’s how you manage it all.
First, stop taking on things with a deadline that are less than days away. This is a classic mistake by most people, myself included, and raises your stress level enormously. Five days may sound like a long time but remember taking on a project requires a few minutes to think about it, understand it, and implement it. Most importantly, the project you just took on is not the only one that you are juggling at the moment. Give yourself at least 3 days to mull over the idea, 2 days to implement and test the idea, and another 2 days to deal with any hiccups that may occur along the way.
Second, procrastination is the enemy. People procrastinate for many different reasons and this step is something that many people tell you to do. In my opinion, procrastination happens because we don’t want to do the work, don’t like the project, or just think that it is going to take to long. For me, this is the first idea that presents the concept of saying no. If when you hear about the project, assignment, or idea that you are being asked to do you don’t light up, then you shouldn’t be involved in it. If you don’t like, love, or enjoy any part of the assignment then you should not agree to take on the project. This will help to minimize the time spent procrastinating on it and maximize the time you have to really have fun with it.
Third set a master schedule. This is something that I’ve talked about before, but it really is the key to completing all your projects. A schedule is the only way that you are going to be able to get everything done. Set a time and place and get to work. Don’t stop until you think you have a draft done, and don’t think about what it looks like or all the things that could be wrong with it. Take the entire block of time and get it done, and then redo, fix, and correct anything you don’t like about your work.
Fourth the WRITTEN checklist! This one is the king of getting everything done. By making a written checklist you gain two things. The first is the joy and satisfaction of checking something off and realizing you finished a project. No matter how small the project the joy of checking it off a list will make you feel a huge burden lifted off your shoulders. The second is this list will also help to minimize the chances of you completely forgetting about a project or thing that needs to be done. Because putting something down as a mental note and not writing it down will almost always lead to you becoming overwhelmed with different things and forgetting something on your list. Thus the written list will result in less stress by allowing you to maximize the time you have to complete the project.
Five forget about it! This may sound counterproductive, but this is by far the most important stress reducing tip that everybody needs to learn. Once a project is done it is done, no need to rethink and second guess yourself on it. Take it out of your mind and imagine that under no circumstances can you change it now. This will help you to put your best foot forward on the next thing, and at the same time reduce your worrying on past projects. (This doesn’t mean don’t correct or redo things it just means understand and know the difference between when you’ve done all you can do and when you haven’t done enough.)
All in all, these are the five steps that I use to get everything done, on time, well, and with little to no stress. Following even a few of these can hopefully help to destress your life and get more things done.
Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com on June 12, 2017.