How to Begin a New Project

by Barbara Martin

in Planning

Down with spreadsheets! Right Brain project planning tools A new right brain way to plan projects using simple art and office supplies

Are you familiar with the typical type of planning process for projects — the quantifiable goals, the schedule, the step by step checks on progress?  The cut and dried picture, the success: fail scenario, the rigidity of mindset this kind of planning inspires? How does that work for you?  Me neither. Makes me want to run away.

On the other hand, undoubtedly a certain amount of thoughtful planning can help any project move forward more smoothly than not; and knowing the general vicinity of where the end point might be is helpful in keeping efforts at least somewhat focused. And an occasional gentle look-see at where we are (and where we are not) in the process can also help with focus and, dare I say it, insert a certain sense of calm. Calm helps us think clearly and work effectively.  Less worry means more energy for what really matters: getting the work done.

All of which leads me to show you the atypical planning tools I am bringing to the table tonight. This is the very first of many small steps ahead of me. I have a big project in my mind. I want to make it real. I want to work on it. But it has so  many moving parts that I am not sure I can pull it off.  And of course, as it so often does, Life is tossing me curve balls.

But I am not willing to put this project away until later. I am not ready to say I am too busy, too distracted, too unfocused, too sick and tired to work on it at all. And I do not want to drop too many balls once it begins in earnest. Determination!

Frankly, the only way to get this project going, like anything, is to begin it. That is,  take action toward the end goal as best as I understand that goal to be — gazing far ahead into the unknowable. Gawp.

What I do know is that if I take a small step and then another small step …. this project will begin grinding creakily into action and eventually get into gear so it finally runs on its own unstoppable momentum. Or something like that.

So, I hereby begin. I have collected these tools. Or toys. Or playthings. Or modest jumble of art supplies including a hand-me-down journal. I am willing to improvise as required to move forward. I know it will not be perfect, and that is Okay. Because the alternative is worse: not to begin is the true form of “failure” for sure.

What do you need to get started on or start planning for? Or if you have already planned, how is it working out for you so far? Do you have a plan that needs to be made real, to happen in the real world — in other words, something you need to begin putting into gear?

You can do it! One small step begins it.  Join me by pulling together the “documentation” materials you would enjoy using to make a solid concept plan. Note: no spreadsheets required. No numbers required. Maybe later, a little bit, but not right now. For now, a vague idea and some materials you enjoy playing with. No art skill required. Just a willingness to play around. That is all.






{ 1 comment }

Kim May 19, 2013 at 9:41 pm

This is a great beginning! And those small steps–they’re magic! They can make everything happen. So glad to be starting a journey alongside you.

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