Summer is almost here. And after a long winter, many of us have visions of gardening and getting projects done both inside and outside of our homes. We anxiously look ahead to all of this time we have coming up to get stuff done, drooling like my dog does waiting for the dog biscuit when we pull up to the drive-up bank teller line. Unfortunately, often the summer goes by, those projects only get partially completed or not done at all. Our hopes go out the window and we’re left wondering what happened and where all the time went. So let’s make this summer different.
It’s time to do some pre-planning.
1. What is most important to you? Is it most important that you have a beautiful flower or vegetable garden for your family to enjoy, that you have a deck where everyone can sit to bask in the sun, a swing set for your kids to play on, a de-cluttered house, or a shed completed where you can store your extra outdoor gear? This is where your feelings come in. How will you feel when you are enjoying your garden, sitting on the deck, watching your kids play, walking into a clutter-free home, or having a place to put your stuff? If it feels like freedom, that’s a pretty good sign it’s important to you.
2. Prioritize. Are you someone who is happy getting a little bit done on a lot of projects or likes to finish one project all the way through to completion before starting the next? Because if you are a one-project-at-a-time person, trying to tackle too many at once can be overwhelming. Know yourself, then prioritize what is most important to get done first. Whatever feels the best or gives you the highest sense of satisfaction when you think of it being done is again a great way to determine where to start.
3. Time Management- We all have 24 hours each day. Thankfully many of those hours come with the bonus of outdoor lighting via our midnight sun. But many of us work, have kids, and life doesn’t always slow down in the summer as much as we’d like. So get serious about how much time you actually will have to spend on your project(s). It’s good to remember that almost everything takes longer to accomplish than we think, or hope, it will. That shed you thought would be done by July 15th might not be completed until August 15th. Just build in some cushion time so that if you happen to get it done sooner, you’ve got a cherry to go on top of that sundae.
4. Energy Management- This might even be more important than time management. You may have the physical time to get projects done but do you have the physical energy to match it? For example, maybe you plan to get that shed put up in a weekend. You think if you spend 10 hours each on Saturday and Sunday you can get er’ done. And maybe you can. Often though, we overestimate how much physical energy we have to do something. It’s like the proverbial saying that our eyes are bigger than our stomach. Sometimes we do bite off more than we can chew. Research shows that when we get tired both physically and mentally, we make mistakes. We often have to go back and fix them. This takes more time. We then get frustrated. When we get frustrated we sometimes want to stop working on the project all together. So know your energy capacity. Stop when you get tired. There is always the next day or weekend. Do you really want to redo what you’ve already done? I’m betting the answer is no.
That’s it. Four easy steps to get your projects done this summer. And since I don’t want to see you looking disappointed like my dog does when he realizes there is no dog biscuit in the tube this time in the banking drive through line, take some time to pre-plan and know what you value, prioritize, and determine your time and energy. This will give you a jump on not only getting your projects started, but completed too. This summer. Happy Projecting!!!
Thank you for spending some of your time with me today. I really do appreciate it and hope you found it helpful. As always, take from here what works for you, share with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest, you can leave behind. Bloom On! Susan P.S. What tricks do you have for getting your summer projects done? I bet we could all benefit. Leave a comment below or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org