My weakest spot? Taking it easy. Not trying to do everything at once. Prioritizing projects rather than jumping into everything right away.
I am an entrepreneur and I am really passionate about what I do. I have the tendency to virtually chase after every idea I come up with, all at once. Experience has taught me that doing so leaves me overwhelmed and projects are left unfinished.
The obvious solution to this problem is prioritization. Finish one project before you get started with another. Prudent advice. What I learned though is that making the decision to prioritize may be a great first step, but alone it’s not enough. You also need to remind yourself along the way that you are actually on the right path. Let me explain.
In August I was working on my first book Surprisingly…Unstuck. One beautiful Saturday morning, I came up with an idea for a health technology startup that would target people who wish they exercised more, but don’t. Helping these people is my passion and the idea seemed amazing. I got so excited with it I could do nothing else than dream on that day! I really wanted to start working on it.
But I knew that I couldn’t possibly do everything at the same time. I had to focus. Agh…Right at that moment I decided that I would not start working on the startup idea before I published the book.
Prioritization – done! Well, almost. Life is really good at testing your convictions.
You see, when I started writing the book, I aimed to write 20 pages. Then 20 pages became 40. Then 40 became 80. Long story short, I ended up writing 220! The scope of the book completely changed from a manifesto to a comprehensive “healthy habits” volume.
As the book scope kept expanding, I obviously kept missing all my “book deadlines”. Plus, my other projects (like the startup idea) had to wait. Longer and longer. The result was that this extra time made me feel ineffective and unproductive. I didn’t appreciate my efforts because all my deadlines were missed – obviously, since the scope of the project changed, or worse, kept changing. But I didn’t want to sacrifice the quality of the book in favor of sticking to my (outdated) deadlines, did I?
The solution? Take a deep breath. Go with the flow. Acknowledge that time is limited and so are you. And do that regularly. Make it a practice if possible.
Making the decision not to do everything at once is indeed the first step to simplicity, but if you are like me, then you may need to inject yourself with additional, regular “deep breath” moments. They remind you to go back to serenity where you belong and you are the most creative. And they feel so good and nourishing for the soul…
Maria is a Stanford educated (healthy habits) engineer. Her new book “Surprisingly…Unstuck: Rewire your brain to exercise more, eat right, and truly enjoy doing so” is available through Amazon. Read more from her at Fitness Reloaded.
End of the year course announcements
- The next session of The Goodblog Project begins on January 7th. Work with me and learn how to write, blog and connect more intentionally. If you are ready to grow, learn and earn in a very genuine, honest, fun way, read more here or send me an email. This will be the last session until May or September 2013.
- If you are interested in dressing with less, the guided self-study Project 333 Quick Start Course is closing on January 8th.