Weight Lifting designed by Scott Lewis from the Noun Project

Weight Lifting designed by Scott Lewis from the Noun Project

Approaching any big project can be a daunting and complex experience. Over on her blog, author Elizabeth Spann Craig gives us nine quick tips for tackling big projects, ensuring that we finish what we set out to do.

Show up. Religiously. It’s the only way to get through a project.

Avoid perfectionism….First drafts aren’t perfect either. But aren’t they better than the blank page?

Craig highlights the importance of finishing what you set-out to do before looking for ways to improve or change the concept. She calls this avoiding tangents:

Avoid going off on tangents….Wait until the project itself is done. For me, it works best for writing, too–I don’t edit/fix stuff until the first draft is completely done.

In her list, Craig also mentions the value of remembering the small victories as you go, emphasizing how motivating it can be to reflect on even the smallest of steps. She writes:

Fight the overwhelm….Remember how far we’ve come since the start of our project. If this is a home improvement or organizing project, it helps to take a picture of the “before,” just to remind us. If its writing–remember that blank page the first words we once wrote down.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with big projects, no matter what type they are. To cope, consider reading Craig’s brief advice and remember to set goals, work with a timer, avoid perfectionism, skip tangents (for now), and more.

Read all of the advice right here.

  • http://notlikethemoviesblog.com/ Sarah-Louise B

    Writing sans editing throughout the process is one of my biggest problems! It’s really hard to get out of that mindset too. When a find that I stop writing I tend to overthink then start reading through the piece. Definitely need to work on leaving this until the end.
    What’s interesting though is that when something happens that truly moves me I will blurt it all out onto the page. Then edit. But that doesn’t always happen.

    • http://www.creativesomething.net/ tannerc

      You’re not alone Sarah-Louise! I think most (is it fair to say most?) writers or other types of creatives have a similar problem.

      It seems that the solution is to find what situations or events cause those moments of being “truly moved” so you can repeat them as necessary.

  • http://www.thankyoubro.com/ Chad Haynes

    Show up = so important.

    You won’t bail on your workout if you don’t focus on it, but instead simply focus on showing up to the gym in the first place.

    You won’t bail on your writing if you open the document, and show up ready to start writing your thoughts.

    Often our resistance comes from focusing on the perceived difficulty of a task. We as humans are pretty bad at understanding that once the flow state kicks in, time will fly by faster than we can even keep track of!

    Great write up Tanner.

    – Chad

    • http://www.creativesomething.net/ tannerc

      Thanks Chad. I really like the examples you give. Once we face that feeling of internal resistance head-on, there’s no telling what we can do.

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