I have just spent the most blissful two weeks being incredibly focused on just two projects - one last week and another one this week.
I still dealt with emails very early each morning and apart from that, I cleared my diary and gave myself the gift of focus!
I confess I was a tad worried - being someone who is easily distracted by all things shiny...and even things that are not shiny at all), I doubted my ability to focus on just one project each week.
What if I...
...got into overwhelm at the magnitude of the whole task?
...didn't finish them?
And here I am, two weeks later and very happy to report that none of my 'What ifs' happened, mainly because I put strategies in place before I started.
Overwhelm was prevented by breaking both projects down into more manageable chunks - I didn't always do that well enough, when I realised that not every item on the list was equal in terms of time to complete - I crossed off 3 tasks in 5 minutes, when another one took me a day and a half!
Boredom was alleviated by giving myself little treats along the way, once various items had been ticked off - given most my treats were chocolate, I'm now thinking about weight loss strategies, but hey ho, I didn't get bored.
Stuckness was dealt with by employing a 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' strategy! I could
- ask the audience (aka Google)
- phone a friend (usually Kash)
- go 50:50 (which meant choosing between'sort it out now' or 'move on and give myself time to reflect')
Not finishing was an easy one to sort out because rather than putting myself under a lot of pressure to completely finish both projects, I decided that it would be good enough to 'break the back of them'...and then I kept checking in with myself to see if I had done enough...yet.
I also used a lot of flexibility - the manageable chunks I originally used for this week's project turned out to be less than helpful...so I changed them! Same outcome, different way of getting there.
It's Friday - two projects done, outcomes met and after another mini project focus today, I intend to have a relaxing weekend...if watching England vs South Africa in the rugby world cup final could ever be classed as relaxing?!?
My biggest learning is to be far stricter with my boundaries in future, to empower me to focus on important projects more often...because getting some big projects moved forward feels incredible!