Picking the right project to pursue

If you’re what I like to refer to as an ideas person, you probably have the challenge of picking what to pursue. You might find yourself with half a dozen great ideas and the thought of bringing each one to life is equally exciting.

It can be difficult figuring out the best way to solve this issue. And so, sometimes we end up picking multiple things to do at once.

We become a jack of all trades.

Whilst there’s nothing wrong with having more than one project at a time, it’s not worth it if you can’t do them well. I like to think of it in terms of spinning plates. The best way to do it is start with one plate and add another when you’re comfortable and then keep going. When you start with multiple plates, they’re more likely to end up broken.

If we take it back to projects, we end up producing work we aren’t proud of and struggle to achieve our desired outcomes.

On the flipside, if we work on things one at a time we give ourselves the opportunity to actualise the vision. If things don’t work out how you’d hoped, you can be much more content with quitting because you know you’ve given it your all.

When you’re doing important work that you believe in, the best way to honour the vision is by being solely dedicated to it. You do yourself and the vision a disservice when you choose to do multiple things at once.

When it comes to deciding what to do, there are plenty of ways to decide.

  • What do you care about the most?
  • What idea feels most important?
  • What will you be most dedicated to?
  • Write them all down and pick out of a hat?
  • Introduce yourself as the person behind each project, which one feels the best?

Maybe try a combination of these things and see what idea comes up the most.

The only thing you need to do is make a choice. If you’re finding it difficult, you’re putting too much weight on it.

And, if you pick something and it doesn’t work out, just try something else.

Creating a container for change

I first heard about this idea from Maryam Hasnaa in a class she taught.

When a person dedicates themselves to a particular path, it more often than not requires significant change.

An example of this could be taking space from friends that like to have nights out often. You need space from this because in that environment you’re likely to drink which leaves you feeling unwell the next day and the time it takes to recover feels like a waste. You also might decide that you want to maintain a regular sleep pattern and night routine which you’re unlikely to be committed to when you get home at 2am. Lastly, when your path becomes clear you realise that the pub, bar or club where it’s noisy, crowded and you’re probably spending a lot of money isn’t an environment that supports you.

And so even though no longer engaging in nights out may show up as you taking space from certain people, it’s not so much about the people at all, it’s about you and what you need.

Another example is leaving your job. Let’s say you work a very full on and at times stressful job that requires a lot from you. When you’re committed to something, in order to focus on that, you don’t want unnecessary stress getting in the way. Perhaps at one point the stress was worth it for the money but now you’d rather earn less in a calmer environment. If your finances allow it, you might even take a break from working for a little while.

Both of these examples could be permanent or temporary changes. The point is that when you’re clear about your path shifting your life is mandatory.

I think if we could, we would turn inwards and away from certain responsibilities and obligations. But since that’s not possible we have to create a container where we can focus and commit whilst still engaging in certain aspects of life. And that container becomes sort of sacred which is why we can’t allow everything in our lives to remain.

And if you don’t know where to begin, ask yourself what you would and wouldn’t keep in your life if you could start over whilst still being able to maintain your basic needs (food, shelter etc).

Liking someone vs liking what they do

I think most of us have at least a few people that we find inspiring. Based on this we end up thinking that we like a person when in reality we just like what they do.

Listening to the songs a person sings or watching the tvs and movies that they star in is not the same as knowing them. You can’t get to know a person based on them performing and pretending to be someone else.

This is why people end up having a rude awakening when they discover traits that they don’t like in an actor, singer, influencer or presenter.

You end up feeling disappointed as if your relationships to these people are personal when they actually have no idea who you are.

The manager you need

When it comes to mentors, managers and the people that help support us throughout our careers, we often don’t know what we need.

If you’re like me, the kind of person that needs a push, you’re progress will be hindered by someone that mollycoddles you. Perhaps you need someone that is kind yet stern who will support you but won’t allow you to hide.

Given the choice you would perhaps run from someone that you felt was stern and run towards someone who you felt was ‘nice’ and ‘kind’. Of course those 2 qualities are great but you might need a little more than that.

When it comes to your career, you’ll always have to push yourself to achieve what you want. However, the case may be that the best person to support to along that journey is the person you least expected.

5 minutes more

When working from home, the getting ready process from bed to desk is much less time consuming.

Instead of waking up, getting breakfast, showering and brushing your teeth, getting ready, leaving out and travelling to the office. You might just wake up, get a coffee and start work. Then perhaps it’s later in the morning that you shower and get ready in-between tasks.

If you’re staying home, the time you get up is pretty flexible because you can choose how much you do before work begins. If you wake up one morning and bed feels cosy, you have the option for 5 minutes more.

On the flipside, if you’re going into the office there’s not much you can bypass and so choosing to sleep for a little bit longer means you have to rush or else you might end up being late.

Perfect timing

Sometimes with little to no effort things work out perfectly. You know those moments where you think I couldn’t have planned this any better than exactly how it’s worked it. I think these moments are even better when they’ve come as a result of you letting go and not putting so much pressure on how things work out.

I feel like perfect timing happens on accident, it just happens. If you spend ages planning and trying to force things to turn out a certain way, the outcome might be great but it was the result of your hard work.

On the flipside when things just happen to turn out perfectly it can serve as a reminder that you don’t have to keep your nose to the grindstone in order for things to turn out wonderfully.

Wellbeing in the workplace

I think that this matters and I think I think that this is important.

If you had a conversation with a lot of companies, particularly since this covid pandemic, they would have something to say about the importance of wellbeing.

We’re all aware that peoples mental health and general wellbeing has been impacted by the pandemic for various reasons. It could be a lack of social interaction, feeling lonely, the change in routine, fear of getting sick, job security, financial issues and more.

But it might not be the pandemic that is the issue. What about if you go to work and you’re treated poorly, ignored, lied to, there’s a lack of trust, you feel stifled, you’re constantly overlooked, people don’t listen to you and you don’t feel respected, you might not even be aware of the impact it can have or is having on you.

Those things can have a significant impact on a persons wellbeing, particularly when they’re happening regularly.

And sometimes in the workplace these things are very covert. When you speak up you get generic responses that lack sincerity but are somehow just enough. Just enough for you to feel like you were overreacting, that maybe you’re not trying hard enough and that things will be better in the future.

However, if you’ve given things a chance to get better and things haven’t improved then you need to decide if the job is actually worth it.

Are you willing to sacrifice your wellbeing for the sake of a job?

Playing catch up

When you’ve fallen behind, it can be difficult to catch up. You find yourself having to work double or triple time to get back to where you want (or need) to be. You might even find yourself questioning whether it’s even worth it.

Maybe instead of potentially over-working yourself, you should simply go at your own pace. Slow down if you want to, stop if you need to.

If you’re catching up to something that you have to do, that you’re obligated to with consequences if you don’t get back on track, find a way to make it work. But if it’s something you’re doing for yourself, with no consequences, it’s probably not worth working yourself into the ground for.

Do less

Sometimes in life when you want things to pan out a certain way you end up putting in a grand effort hoping to increase your chances of an ideal outcome.

In some cases this might work but in other cases it doesn’t. And when things don’t work out you might find yourself frustrated wondering what you did wrong and what you should have done differently.

The answer is often much simpler than we anticipate. You don’t need to work yourself to the bone, having life turn out the way you want doesn’t require hard energy draining labour. Often all you need to do is set things up and allow them to fall into place.

It might not be procrastination

Sometimes what we call procrastination is actually just making the choice not to do something. Just because you have a task to complete, doesn’t mean you need to do it right away, maybe you don’t feel like it.

We often create this sense of urgency as though nothing can or should be done any later than right now.

Of course, there is a clear issue when not completing the task has negative repercussions such as being overloaded, stressed and rushing to complete things. However, if you’re simply choosing to do something later then it might not be so bad.