Today we have a different article than usual, with a special guest: Jolanda Germinario (for many known as Jol) with her blog “Semplicemete Jol” (simply Jol) helps women busy amoung house, work and family to handle their time in the best way possible, so as to live their life more peacefully and to find time for taking care of what they love the most. The idea of this cooperation started from a thought of mine about how much the hardworking bees and beekeepers have always to do – how to handle all these ideas, plans and tasks?? With this article Jolanda gives us some precious suggestions. I encourage you to have a look at her blog, you will find many interesting articles and advises. Now I leave the word to her!
Do you have so many projects spinning around in you head, but you are afraid you won’t be able to handle them? Here 7 suggestions to handle your plans and keep everything under control.
Would you like to attend a cooking class, a travel to Japan, and why not a Spanish course, and then maybe…but will a whole life be enough to manage this all? Maybe you won’t manage to carry out really everything, but with my 7 suggestions to handle your plans it will be easier to don’t lose yourself among the ongoing activities and ideas.
1. Close… and do it asap!
Let’s start from the plans in progress.
Something that happens very often to me is that, when I am busy with some projects, I get a bunch of other new ideas. It happens to you too, doesn’t it?
Having many ideas is exciting, but sometimes discouraging as well because handling more plans together is feasible, but you risk to bump into the macro Multitasking.
You don’t know what it is? No worries, shortly, the macro Multitasking is the tendency to handle too many plans together at the same time. When you take care of too many things together, you find yourself in a rather unpleasant situation: you don’t manage to carry out any of your tasks and…it’s not exactly what we want.
Leaving unfinished things is frustrating for anybody, so the suggestion that I want to give you is before starting any new adventure, try to carry out what you were already doing as soon as possible.
In this way you will have:
- Closed a circle: life is made by cycles that have a beginning, a central phase and a end. They are circles that gets opened to be closed then. When you don’t close the circles, you get confused and you waste many energies by going back and forth on the same unsolved situations. Whereas when you close a circle, you are satisfied and in harmony with the natural vital cycle of the things.
- Set resources free. Now you will be able to use new time and energies for your new plans.
2. Make a list of the new entries
Are you worried about the fact that focusing on the closure of old projects will make you forget new exciting ideas that came to your mind in the meanwhile? Don’t worry!
Write a list with all your new plans to be fulfilled.
In addition, this is a perfect way to evaluate the importance of a project. If you don’t dive in it immediately, you will have the occasion to let your idea rest. As soon as you will be able to take time for your plan, have a look at your new entries list: you will find out that some projects have lost their charm, maybe because they were not so important as you thought. In this way you will avoid to start absurd experiences triggered by a temporary euphoria.
There is that crazy idea that instead is still there and continues to call you like a mermaid? Brilliant, this means that it’s the moment to start it!
The phase that I have just explained to you can be defined as a very first phase of evaluation of the new project. But not only. Now you can start to establish how much that project is feasible in this specific moment of your life.
You can ask yourself for example:
- Can I fulfill it right now?
- Do I have time and energies to invest in this new project?
- Do I have the needed resources to start it (material, economical resources, proper level of skills,…)?
If the answer to all these questions is yes, start without hesitation.
If instead you realise that now is not the right moment, do not worry: the list mentioned before is useful in these situations as well because none of your ideas will get lost and you will be able to grab it back in your hands whenever you will think this is really the right moment.
Do you miss the resources? Well, first of all you will have maybe to find the way to get them. This phase will be already an integrated part of your new project because most probably will be the first one of different steps. However, before starting the Planning phase, there is still something to do: establish a deadline. Like with the objectives, it’s important to know when you forecast to end a project, otherwise you will spend the rest of your life planning instead of seeing your achievement fulfilled, trust me!
Now it’s time to plan. Start from the end and with your imagination travel back to the whole path to be done. At this point identify all the needed steps to achieve the goal.
This step is essential for 2 reasons:
- The more the project is divided in sub-parts, the lighter and easier to fulfill will be. It’s a bit like what happens with food too: smaller bites will be easier to digest, don’t you think so?
- It’s easier to keep under control littles steps than the global idea. If there is a setback, you can understand immediately what doesn’t work and in which precise point. In this way you won’t have to evaluate again the whole plan, but you’ll have simply to correct the single mistake. This will allow you to work in a more calm and quicker way.
If you are working at a long and/or complicated project, you could set some intermediate goals that will help you to keep the focus and will give you the motivation to keep on.
5. To Do List
Good, now it’s the moment to take action! The different steps that you have followed so far have to be now entered in a daily or weekly (decide according to what you prefer) To Do List. All the activities to be done must fit easily with the needed actions for the project.
If you really want to be sure to keep on with calm, here some suggestions:
- Don’t overdo. Set a few activities to be added to your To Do List. Better a few activities brought to the end than many unfinished ones (like we have already seen with the projects)
- Set your priorities. If you don’t manage to carry out everything in a day or in a week, carrying out your priorities will allow you to feel satisfied anyway in the evening. It’s not important that you do exactly everything. During the day there may be some setbacks you will have to deal with. Don’t focus on what you didn’t manage to do, but appreciate everything you managed to do despite all. At this point you can plan what you didn’t manage to do for the following day or for the following week with calm.
- You can use a Color Code to isolate some activities from others. This is one of the funniest part for me. For example, you can highlight with a different colour the primary activities. Otherwise, you could use a special colour to highlight the activities of a specific project. Do like me, have fun! Find the way, take care of your Color Code to make visually simpler to distinguish some activities from others. This step will allow you to don’t panic when watching the to do list.
6. Check regularly
Speaking of the visual aspect of the list, make sure to distinguish the activities but remember also to have always an overview. We often get lost on the little step and we forget the objective. Have a regular look at the starting list with all the steps to evaluate the progress status of the plan:
- At which point are you?
- How is it proceeding?
- Any setback?
- Anything to be revised?
In this phase, for example, you could realise that your project has some limits. Maybe you got overburden. In this case, split in more sub-steps or plan the activities more properly according to the time you really have.
Otherwise you could realise that you had set impossible deadlines. At this point, try to evaluate them again. This can happen. No worries, with some revisions you will keep on working quicker to your plan.
7. Don’t get lost among the details
This is very important. Often we get slower with what we care so much due to our ‘perfection hunting’. This may happen to who, like me, doesn’t like what’s done with superficiality, but loves doing with much care.
Watch out, perfectionism can be very dangerous. Sometimes you are so worried about mistakes or that things may not work as you would like to, that you neither start and this is a real waste of your potentialities. Even if you don’t feel that confident, have a try! Your plans will gradually take the shape you want and you will be very happy about them, even if they won’t be that perfect.
And here we are, at the end of this journey together. I am glad if I managed to spread even just a bit of my passion and I hope that my 7 suggestions to handle your plans may be useful for you. If it’s so, do not hesitate to share this article with people you think they want to handle their time better.
For other suggestions follow me at www.semplicementejol.it or on Facebook and Instagram to keep always updated with my new contents.
Thanks for your time!