Jun
29

A Dozen Ways to Take the Stress Out of Big Projects

Guest Post by Beverly Coggins

We all have big projects we must accomplish at different points in our lives. It may be a normal part of your job or a fund-raiser for your child’s sports team or doing a home improvement project. Whatever the case, if you plan ahead, you can eliminate much of the stress that could accompany a big project. Here are a few tips:

1. Break down your project into categories and then to specific tasks in each category.

2. Estimate the time it will take do each task. Err on the side of over-estimating rather than under-estimating.

3. Add up the time it will take to complete your project so you will know how much time will need to be devoted to the project.

4. Set a deadline for the completion of your project.

5. If your project allows, delegate. Assign tasks with clear instructions and deadlines. Plan to follow-up periodically.

6. Working backwards, schedule the specific tasks/deadlines and follow-ups, allowing some extra wiggle room for unexpected delays. Plan to finish your project a couple of days ahead of schedule to reduce your stress level.

7. Know your peak energy times and schedule your tough jobs then, if possible.

8. Do big projects during big chunks of time and small ones during small scraps of time.

9. Do projects that require concentration at times when you won’t be interrupted at a place where there are few distractions. If you work in an office, consider going in during an evening or weekend when no one else is there. Make sure to take some time off during the week to compensate yourself.

10. Inform others of times when you do not want to be interrupted and when you will be available. Record this information on your voice mail. Give polite, but firm reminders when you are interrupted during your no-interruption times.

11. If necessary, go to a location away from your office or home where you are unlikely to be disturbed.

12. CELEBRATE the completion of your project!! If others are involved in your project, make sure to involve them in the celebration.

Beverly Coggins is an organizing expert, speaker and author of the 1-2-3…Get Organized series – books, workbooks, and ebooks written for the organizationally overwhelmed. Her blog provides tips on organizing time, the office, and home.

She is also a Myers-Briggs facilitator and conducts retreats, seminars, training, and coaching for businesses and individuals on the topics of team building, conflict resolution, vision/mission, career satisfaction, time management and organization.

MomAudience.com, her latest venture, is a weekly email showcasing free listings of businesses, blogs, products, and more that appeal to moms.

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