Too Much of a Good Thing!

On January 1st, I set goals for myself with three different projects. Subsequently, each project has created even more work than I had anticipated. In my excitement over the response, I tried to complete them all at the same time, which resulted in my feeling overworked, neglecting elements of my personal life, and having less energy to give to each project. I missed deadlines, felt irritated when asked to make changes, and looked for ways to get out of my commitments. I had “too much of a good thing!” Instead of being stuck with the negative impacts, I reminded myself of the blessings, initial energy, and results I had set out to achieve.

I remembered from my Myers-Briggs personality assessment how much I love to be the “initiator.” The beginning phase of each project is exciting and creative for me. I love that part! Getting down to brass tacks is more difficult for me. It involves time-lining, writing reports and making phone calls to keep each project going. I also have to manage my time to fit in related meetings, individual follow-up conversations and respond to e-mails related to each project. This kind of activity has me lose the vim and vigor of the initial excitement at the beginning of each project. I am busy, but I became bored and tired.

To address my feeling of overload and reignite my passion for each project, I took the following steps that you might find helpful when you get stuck in the mundane aspects of a once-exciting project or are blessed with many all at one time:

1. Re-prioritize. Figure out what needs to be done NOW and update the timeline so you can schedule the rest of the activities required for each project. Reset expectations if necessary on the new delivery dates. Get help . Perhaps the project is too big for one person. Who else in the organization or in your community could help? Ask for their help and delegate some of the work.

2. Plan interim evaluations. This has helped me to let go of the feeling that nothing was getting accomplished. It isn’t all done yet but it is well on the way and I am achieving the milestones I established in my timeline.

3. Finish projects before going on to the next thing – or at least some of them! We “initiators” like to start things. The challenge is to hang in there until it’s complete and not leave loose ends while balancing taking on new projects that we can work on when we complete the others.

4. Acknowledge myself and others for a job well done throughout the process and celebrate the results at the end of the project.

I am still in the process of managing these projects successfully. If I reach another snag, I will revisit my own instructions. I set out to create an abundance of work. I got what I asked for and more. Now, my challenge is to become as successful at completion as I am at initiation. Too much of a good thing can turn out to be just enough.

Do you tend to get lost in the middle of getting things done when so much comes at once? How do you handle it? I’d like to hear from you and share your thoughts with our readers.

With Warm Regards,