How to Tackle a Big Project (and Actually Finish It!)

The one thing I hear more than anything else from my friends when we’re hanging out is “how to you get so much done?”.

I honestly don’t FEEL like I get all that much done or that my super power is to get more done than the average person in a 24-hour period. But, I do know a little something about tackling big projects and seeing them through.

Most of my big projects start with an idea. An idea I just can’t get out of my mind until I turn it into a reality. I’ve pulled together just a few tips that have helped me to be able to complete big projects from creating a new website to building a new display in one of my brick and mortar stores.

  1. TRUST YOUR INTUITION - If you have an idea for a project (any kind of project - to paint your front door, to re organize your laundry room, to build a planter for your deck or teach a class in your community) you should always trust your gut. If your idea makes you excited inside and inspires you, YOU SHOULD DO IT. Isn’t that what life is about? Doing the things that light you up, inspire you and make you happy? If it feels like a good idea in your soul, it probably is. Give yourself permission to carry out a project (even if it seems a little scary!).

  2. SPEAK IT INTO EXISTENCE- Tell someone you trust about your project or idea. If I have a big idea for a new display in one of my stores I tell one of my team members about it. I explain my ideals and map it all out. It gives me the opportunity to get some feedback, but it also creates accountability. You can even ask a friend, your partner, a co-worker or an employee to help to keep you accountable and on-track. That way if your passion for the project starts to wane or you need a gentle push they can help.

  3. TAKE THE FIRST STEP - Many times the hardest part of any project is just getting started. For most people the first step may be to write out a plan of action and to break the big project into actionable tasks. If you break any big project down into smaller tasks and action items it will help guide you through the project and keep you on track. Remember that any big task, project or idea can only be achieved by taking it one step at a time.

  4. CREATE A TIMELINE - You are much more likely to complete a big project if you are able to set a timeline and give yourself deadlines. A great way to stay on track is to use a project management tool such as ASANA. You can create projects in ASANA, break it down into tasks and set deadlines. Tell your support person or the person you shared your idea with about your deadlines so they can also help to keep you accountable to your deadlines.

Depending on the size and complexity of your project it may take a few hours, to a few days to months to complete. The most important thing is to build in time for your project and to consistently make time to work on it.

If your passion or excitement for a project starts to wane and the spark just isn’t there like it used to be, try to figure out why. If you need to take a break - that is completely OK!! Use that time to rest, recharge and revaluate your approach or timeline.

If you hit a bump in the road (and believe me, you will!), do your best to stay the course and keep going. Just remember that with a little organization, time, heart and consistency…anything is possible.

Natalie Weber Hamilton