Taking the first steps

Published: Monday, August 8, 2016

I have found it extremely difficult to get started on projects that I think are daunting.  It gets even worse when I don’t know where to start. 

My mind feels sluggish, my hands refuse to move, I become paralyzed to action.

Then there are the easy start projects. Why can I just jump in and get going on those?  Here are some thoughts why taking the first steps in these project types is easy:

  • The end result you are trying to achieve is known.  It is easier for us to start on a journey when we know where we are to end up.
  • The project is within our comfortable skill set.  We know we can do it.
  • The project has a finishing point.  There is a time and place where the project is awarded the done certificate.

So does that mean I should just try and do the easy projects?  My mind screams “Where is the learning in easy?” Here are some tips to jump start your most difficult projects:

  • Take some quiet time to reflect on the outcome you desire.  Many athletes envision themselves receiving the medal before every training session.
  • As an immediate first step take a sheet of paper and write for 5 minutes whatever comes to mind in the project.  You will most likely have just written down your starting point.
  • Build a high level plan on large projects where you can see milestones or potential reward opportunities.
  • Find opportunities to expand your skills in the project.  Learn about the new skills you will need as a starting point.

Now on to the first steps of a new and difficult project.