One of the aims and advantages to doing a life reboot is that you lessen your load. But nature abhors a vacuum, and an empty schedule is a prime target for filling. If you want to avoid going back to the overwhelm, you will need to keep your project list trim. But how can you keep your project list short? Today’s article gives you some tips.
I believe that one reason people get asked to do things is because they have successfully done other things before. Volunteers at church and Girl Scouts are asked to take on additional projects because they have shown they are successful at their current projects. Which is why there are a dedicated core of people who seem to live at the building. I used to be like this, so I understand the phenomena. But one of the reasons I had to do a life reboot is because I had too much on my plate.
Consider the Source
One of the things you need to consider when being asked to take something on is “who is asking?” Their are those people out there who are just trying to get out of their own work…but even worse is when we ask ourselves to take something on. This is exacerbated by FOMO, where we take on something because we are afraid of missing out.
Considering the source can help you decide if you need to examine the project at hand with careful scrutiny. And I find that I am the worst offender.
Never agree to anything outright.
Prevarication is your friend. At least when it comes to your project list. Instead of agreeing to do something, give yourself some breathing room: “I need to check a few things first” or “I’ll get back to you.” Both of these give you the space to decide if you have the time to do the project, and if you really want to do it.
Make NO your favorite word.
Every time you say no, you’re saying yes to something else. You’re probably used to hearing that reversed…saying yes means saying no to something else. But the flip is true. When you say no to a project, you are making more time and space for things you’ve already committed to, or to things that are coming. Don’t limit what you can do by getting involved in things you really don’t want to do. If you have trouble saying no, use the method above.
Check your levels weekly.
One of the best ways to make sure your project list is not filling up is to revisit it weekly. Check to see what you have outstanding, and if the level begins to grow, start pruning it back. Far too often we take things on without really understanding what we are already committed to.
Watch out for stealth projects.
In software development, we call this “scope creep”. It’s when a project either suddenly and unexpectedly grows bigger because the parameters have changed, or projects spawn off the side.
For instance, if you decide that you are going to clean out your garage, and you realize that in order to do this, you need to buy shelves (side project). Or you clean your fridge of old food and realize that you have to wipe down all the shelves because of a spill.
If you go through the process of doing a life reboot, make sure that you don’t land yourself back in the overwhelm by growing your project list.
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