When you undertake a new project, you are creating an exciting new opportunity. Projects are unique and temporary events which are different from your normal repetitive chores. Doing the dishes over and over and over (no, sadly it will never end) is a “business as usual” process. Reorganizing your kitchen is a project to improve upon and streamline the dishes process. Get it?
Properly carried out projects benefit the way your home runs. That’s why homeowners often find ourselves in Home Depot on Saturday mornings. We are attempting to improve something in our homes yet again. The processes we do in our homes, like laundry, meals, dishes, and cleaning never stop. If you are striving for a better life, the projects you create for yourself won't stop either.
Think about it – is your TO DO list ever done? Nope, so let’s accept that and move on.
See if this sounds familiar to you…
When taking on a project, you tend to let the normal processes slide. For example: you are in your closet, surrounded by piles of clothes that you want to either donate or keep (a seasonal project). Then you realize it’s time to pick the kids up from school (a daily process). Darn that process for interrupting your big project!
So, do you...
A. Quickly throw all the clothes on a shelf, shut the closet door, and vow to return to your project later. You know full well it’ll sit in shambles for a week in the meantime.
B. Stop and pick up the kids, get them a snack, and then return to your closet to finish the job. Work feverishly until you forget to stop and cook dinner (another process). Now its 7pm, you’re still not done, and you collapse on the floor in tears. You never have enough time to do anything!
Why no, it’s secret option C:
BEFORE starting your closet project you map out your SMART Goals to make the project a success.
T: Time Based
Specific: Before you begin a project, do your planning. I can't stress enough how important it is to goal set before you start. This involves listing out all the specific steps of your goal from start to finish.
Measurable: Brainstorm how to measure your success with each part of your project. How will you know it’s completed, who will help, what setbacks will you encounter, and why should you take on this project? Defining your goals will help cut unnecessary steps and give you a measurable checklist. Now you can tick off items one by one – how satisfying.
Attainable: Ask yourself how will you know you did a good job? Think now about how you want your end result to look and backtrack the steps to get there. Crying on the floor of your closet is not a good indicator of success. Put small steps in motion to avoid frustration as much as possible. This could include having others help or spending money. Can you achieve completion of this project?
Realistic: Be honest with your time, expenses, and expectations. Is this project going to help your household run better or is it a time waster? Some projects are more trouble than they’re worth and are better left on the drawing board.
Time Based: Map out a realistic schedule. For instance, only do 1 hour of organizing clothes in a day so you have time to clean up before school lets out. Celebrate small victories and keep your motivation high.
Now you know the difference between processes and projects and how to plan a great project from start to finish. Put your new knowledge to work by organizing your weekend to do list now. Move high priority projects that will improve your processes the most to the top of your list. How SMART of you! If you need help prioritizing your projects, let’s chat and figure it out together.