The easy tasks on your to do list aren’t the problem. It’s the projects that take several steps, right? You want to build a treehouse for your kids, write a book, clean the garage, prepare a presentation for work, and even more. How can you ever finish multiple projects at the same time?
Here’s the secret to remember — all projects have a beginning, middle, and end. Keep this in mind and you already have a guide for where you are with a project. Figure out what section you are working on and you know what needs to happen.
Let’s break this down:
First off, don’t forget the tools you need! Have them ready ahead of time. Whether you need nails and a hammer, or your laptop with Powerpoint—plan ahead to get as much work as you can done in the time allotted.
Know when you start a project, research is often a trap. To avoid this pitfall, limit the amount of time spent so research does not become procrastination.
Once you get moving, you’ll pick up momentum. Don’t let fear stop you, dive in and start swimming!
In the middle problems tend to pop up. You’ll want to move on to other projects. The middle is often the longest part of a project. In his book Do The Work, Steven Pressfield fittingly calls the middle the “Belly of the Beast”. This is the section that will make you want to stop, pack up, and go home. When you get to this stage, reach out for help when you need it and keep hustling as success does not happen overnight.
When you work on the end, perfectionism loves to rear its ugly head. You have to grind through and finish. Shipping your work is one of the hardest things you can possibly do. No one ever said finishing is easy. But it is definitely worth it and you can do it.
So go ahead — map out your recent projects and break them into the beginning, middle, and end. Figure out the order and what needs to happen to move to the next step. This is how you can map out your path to success.
Note from Mike: Do you want to take these concepts even further? Jim wrote a book with Erik Fisher of the Beyond The To Do List podcast titled Ready, Aim, Fire!. It breaks down goals into simple steps with associated action steps, making it essentially a personal coach in ebook form. You can (and should) get it here.