Years back I was camping with some friends and we heard all sorts of laughing and splashing a little ways down the river. We decided to check it out and found some young kids climbing up a challenging tree, manipulating a rope swing, then kicking really hard to the side and somehow out before dropping down into the river. One of the little boys, you could tell he was the leader of the pack, said, “When you let go of the rope yell “Get ‘er done!” before you drop in the water.” I just stared for a while in amazement. Needless to say, I’m not a kid anymore and I just kept thinking about everything that could go wrong. I think the forerunner saw that on my face and he simply said, “Lady you can do it. You just have to start.” So I did. And I yelled “Get ‘er done!”
Put Your Mind to It
Let’s face it; many of us have procrastinated in our lives. I cannot tell you how many papers or projects I completed in my youth only because the deadline “snuck up on me”. Not only was my work sub-par, but I was stressed by the pressure I brought upon myself. Over the years I’ve learned if I truly need or want to accomplish something, I have to first put my mind to it. If you’re not feeling it, it shows and it’s silly to approach anything with the wrong attitude.
Have you ever heard analysis paralysis? Our company works on very large projects that can revolutionize how companies do business. The most important factor in the success of these projects is to simply approach with a structured process in place. The first stage is obvious, all you have to do is start. I learned to create an outline and stick to it in the past and have been using this method since school days. It just made it that much easier to stay on track.
Break It Down Into Tasks
OK, so with the rope-swing river-dropping event, I just looked at it and said to myself “Avoid the poison ivy, climb up the left side of the tree, tell those kids to throw me the rope swing and then worry about the kick to the side/forward motion when I get there.” When it comes to large projects, breaking the process down into tasks and delegating those tasks will help you complete in a timely, organized fashion. If you have not read our blog on why projects fail, you should. One of the most important parts of success is accomplishing the many tasks in between.
Half of avoiding risk is monitoring your projects and keeping things visible. There are many tools that can help you monitor your tasks, completion of tasks etc. For example, utilizing technology that tracks key performance indicators, or KPI, allows you to see and analyze data in real time. And, when all else fails, good old fashioned Microsoft® Excel will do.
Some of the most ingenious workers I have ever seen served in the military before. I believe it is the discipline and resourcefulness learned that allows men and women to be self-sufficient, team-efficient, and creative when needed. We’ve all had to make do and we all know some of the greatest inventions came from necessity to save the day. Cross-training team members while keeping up to date and well-informed of all business areas helps you see the big picture and get creative. Moral of the story, work with what you’ve got and be willing to switch it up and adapt.
The Right Time To Celebrate
Yes, it may sound strange but hold off on celebration until the end. While it is important to reward yourself and co-workers when a good job is completed, sacrifice is a challenging concept. The most successful people in the world have skipped the party, worked even harder, and of course made difficult decisions along the way. When a project is truly finished, you just know and only then should you begin to celebrate, it will be that much sweeter!