As I was cleaning out my refrigerator yesterday, I couldn’t help but wonder about the similarities in the ways we deal with the leftovers and the ways we approach our projects. What do you do with your leftovers?
- Do you finish them even though the food may have lost its initial appeal?
- Do you re-work them into something new and delicious?
- Do you put them into the fridge and forget about them until a rather peculiar smell reminds you to check on your biological experiment?
- Do you throw out the leftovers right away because you know that you won’t be eating them again?
Now, it’s time to see how you handle your projects.
- Do you always finish what you have started even if you are not as excited about the project as you were at the beginning? If so, you certainly have the self-discipline and good planning skills. And you probably accomplish a lot. As long as you choose your projects wisely and don’t compromise on your taste, you are in good shape. One thing for you to remember is that some projects, just like the leftovers, have an expiration date: if a project goes bad, don’t be afraid to toss it.
- Are you one of those lucky people who know how to breathe life into an old project? You know where to look for inspiration to keep your projects alive and exciting. You are flexible and you are not afraid to make changes as you go. The only word of caution for you is not to lose the essence of your projects. There is only so much you can do with the leftovers. Sometimes, it is better to start from scratch.
- Do you tend to start projects and then put them “on hold” when something better or more important comes along? Do you have a long to-do list that keeps running through your mind? Then, your head is probably full of mental “leftovers.” Schedule regular times to clear you head by deciding what to toss, what to work on right away, and what to “freeze” till sometime in the future. Planning and prioritizing will save your energy and make you more productive.
- Do you have trouble completing your projects? Maybe, you have many interests and you are very enthusiastic to try out new things, but you get bored easily. As a result, you struggle to stay focused. Try “freezing” some of you "leftover" projects for future use and re-working the others. Find sources of motivation to stick with the project at hand. Circulate several projects so that you can easily switch from one to another when you get frustrated. Revisit your inventory of "frozen leftovers" periodically to see when it is a good time to thaw them. While variety is good, you don’t want to be wasteful.