Stress Free Project Planning

Many of us have several projects going on at one time or perhaps we are focusing in on one huge project. There is often a time that this project needs to be completed.

It’s not unusual for people to panic and feel stressed, especially as the due date is upon them. This does not have to be the case.

I recommend following these steps for completing a project nearly stress free:

  • Understand your motivation. Why is this project important now? Will it affect your job evaluation? Are family or friends counting on you?
  • Develop your vision. Picture the project completed. See yourself at the end of the job. How do you feel?
  • Brainstorm a list of all that must happen to make your vision come true. Write everything down as you think of it. No matter how grandiose or how small, put it all on the list. The list can be edited later.
  • Write out your goals. This will make it real. Have and end date as part of your goals. For example, “By June 27 I have made reservations for my visit to Virginia.”
  • Write down the time sequence everything that must be done to make the project complete. Then in your calendar plug in all the “do” dates. It is important that you give yourself some “wiggle room”. Don’t schedule so tightly that the project will be doomed if you miss one or two of these scheduled benchmark dates. Life happens and rarely if you are working on something big are you going to get everything to happen just as you planned. This is especially true if you are working with other people.
  • Celebrate and reward yourself for the project’s completion. Lock into your mind how good it feels to have this done and on time. The project might not be done perfectly but it is done on time and good enough.

Following these steps works for things as small as a summer party or as large as finishing a dissertation. For more information on how this works, buy my workbook, From Vision To Victory: A Workbook For Finding a Simple Path to an Organized Home.

Why I Use the Zone Plan

What is the Zone Plan?

Using the Zone Plan, I divide my home into 10 zones. Each month (except for July and December) I focus on that one zone. I begin by revisiting my vision for the area. I make a list of what I want to accomplish. I schedule time on my calendar to work through the tasks. During that month I touch everything in that zone and give the area a good deep cleaning. I have a teleclass with a group that works on their own zones and projects and that gives us all accountability.

What are the benefits of using the Zone Plan?

  • At the end of the year, I have touched everything in my home. I have made a decision about every object – to keep or to cull and how to store it.
  • It keeps my home fresh. As I start work on each zone, I notice anything that I no longer love or anything that is bugging me and I develop a plan to change it. I might paint a wall or change out a picture. I might play with the lighting. By the end of the month, I am in love with that zone again.
  • No spring cleaning because I do it all year round in the zone I am working. 
  • I visit every part of my home, from attic to out of sight storage. This can give me a heads up on some problems my home might have.  Moldy boots in a spare bedroom closet? (better see where that dampness is coming from) Rodent droppings in the attic? (better call pest control) Dampness under the sink in the kitchen? (better call the plumber) None of these problems can be very old as the zone was done last year.
  • By focusing mainly on just one zone, I give myself permission to not overly concern myself with other parts of my home. If I open my linen closet and it looks a bit messy, instead of jumping right in and fixing it all now, I say “Your turn is in June,” and use my time on something else.

I love the feeling I get at the end of the month when I stand back and look at my freshly cleaned and organized zone.