10 Steps to Succeed at Projects

Almost none of these ideas come from me, because I’m a typical artist/writer—I’m a dreamer, I would rather create than get “bogged down” by details, etc.

Adding in brain fog and other symptoms from my Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, I would probably not finish things and be in a mess right now if not for help….

My Dad, Mom, sister, hubby, and dearest friend Sarah Sears are ALL good at these organizational tips, so they have helped me survive and produce.  (They get the credit for this post.  :))

So, if you have 20 different exciting projects hanging around not getting done, don’t despair.  Maybe trying a few of these ideas will help you.

1.  Decide if you will work on several projects at once or prioritize them and work on one at a time.

A.  A little done on several projects each week might be nice variety for your energy, thinking, etc.
B.  Working on several projects over several months also works better if you will find yourself waiting on others who are contributing to the projects.
C.  In addition, several projects at once can help if you are feeling overwhelmed by deadlines and not sure you can complete one project in time to get another one finished by the correct deadline.
D.  On the other hand, focusing on one project at a time will bring the first project to completion much faster.
E.  Focusing on one project at a time is better if you have a project that far outweighs others in priority (for whatever reason).

I have worked both ways over the years—on “one project at a time” and on several projects over a number of months.

2.  Break up your first project or each project into manageable steps.  (This is one of the hardest things for me to do.  Sometimes I can’t even “think” what the steps need to be, but I sit down at my “peak” thinking time and try to logic it out.)

3.  Ask someone for help in figuring out the steps if you need.  (“How do I get such-and-such an idea from ‘great idea’ to completion?”)  You will need to determine your goals to complete this.  Maybe your goal is to write a book, or maybe your goal is to write a book and get it up for sale as an e-book.  The second example will have many more steps than the first example.

4.  Get a calendar that stretches out for months and write each step of the project down, a little bit on each day.

5.  Don’t write too many steps on one day, especially if you know that day will have other goals (“clean the house because a friend is coming to visit”).

6.  If you have an “end goal” date (like publishing a book on Amazon Kindle by summer’s end), start at the end goal date and work backwards, spacing out the steps relatively equally.

7.  Build in days for “bad days” when nothing goes right or you don’t have the energy to complete steps.

8.  Other than bad days, doggedly DO each step as you see it on your calendar.

9.  Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate your goal or your timeline.  If you are falling further and further behind, re-evaluate the goal and/or the priorities in your life.  (Pray and ask God what to do.)

10.  Don’t be afraid to fail.

Christa Upton   Black Hills Picture Books   PO Box 293   Custer, SD 57730

About Christa Upton

I am a wife and mother of three children ages 8, 11, and 15. I used to be a stay-at-home mom (teaching piano & dance, volunteering, etc. on the side). From 2007 to 2010, I suffered accidental Toxic Injury (also called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or MCS). MCS has had major impact on our family, but the forced time in bed has given me time to write. So far, I have written nine children's books and numerous short stories. The one book I have in print includes numerous photographs taken by my own dear, sweet children and husband. That's how Black Hills Picture Books was born!
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2 Responses to 10 Steps to Succeed at Projects

  1. I HAVE TO DO ONE PROJECT AT A TIME— AS I WANT TO SEE THINGS FINISHED!!!!!!!!! THE ONLY THINGS THAT I HAVE THAT ARE PROJECTS THAT ARE NOT ALL FINISHED ARE ON GOING ARE LIKE HAND SEWING PROJECTS– OR CRAFT PROJECTS–BUT ONCE I START SOMETHING I WANT IT FINISHED!!! :)

    • Christa Upton says:

      I know what you mean–it’s driving me crazy that I have several things unfinished right now!!! :) I just finished a sewing project, though, so that felt good. :) What kinds of things do you like to sew?

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