I was looking at my task management software and I wasn’t too happy: It had started to fill up with too many smaller projects.
Even if I was working hard every day, I still felt a sense of not accomplishing anything. I just didn’t have a clue when I was able get started with all those projects and that really bugged me out.
Finally, I was fed up with the situation and I decided to test out something different. I was hoping that it would solve the issue I had with my projects.
Two factors causing the overwhelming problem
There were really two factors that made me feel frustrated and overwhelmed regarding my projects:
First, I didn’t see the power of deadlines. Sure, I knew that deadlines would compress my available time very effectively and that would push my boundaries for getting the work done. Still, I didn’t take advantage of this wisdom and I continued to work like before.
Second, I just didn’t have a clear game plan on how to tackle those projects. If I started to do something, “I just did it” without any further thinking. And when I just started doing the tasks, I wasn’t able to spot the issues ahead and prepare for them.
With the combination of those two matters, it was clear that my project list was growing and I felt frustrated every time I saw the list of my unstarted projects.
However, there was even something deeper behind these two reasons I just mentioned.
The fear of stopping
I was too busy of doing the daily recurring tasks, but I never really focused on just the projects on my list.
Since my main goal was just to get the daily tasks done, I was afraid to stop, put the daily tasks aside for a moment and actually start working with the projects. In other words, I never really dedicated time for projects because of fear.
I just felt that if I stopped doing the daily tasks, I would feel bad about myself since my focus was on projects instead.
This fear kept me on the move and it didn’t give me a chance to stop to do something else – even if in my mind I knew that this something else (those projects) would be equally important as well.
Then someday, things changed and I felt the sense of relief. In fact, I tested out a new method and it surprised me how well it worked.
Granny to the rescue
It was this one Wednesday when I was going to be alone with son. My wife had to go for an appointment on that evening and I also had some work to do (that needed to be done). That’s why I asked my mom to babysit our son.
I had approximately 1.5 hours to get this certain work done, so I planned my steps accordingly in advance. When my mom arrived and my wife left for her appointment, I went to a work room and closed the door behind me.
Within that 1.5 hours, I was able to get that particular small project done – something that had been sitting on my task list for too long.
Obviously, I felt energized and empowered after the accomplishment and I realized that there actually was a way to get work done in a super-focused manner, even if I didn’t have that much time available.
Super Wednesday Method in action
I like to call the previous way of working as the Super Wednesday Method, since that’s when the weekday was when the initial experience occurred.
Use the following steps for achieving Super Wednesday experience yourself:
1. Decide a date, time and location. Pick a date, time and place for accomplishing a small project.
In my case, I have been working at home in my work room, on Wednesdays, between 5.30 PM and 7 PM and that setting works me the best.
2. Do other necessary arrangements. If you are working from home and you have a child/children, make sure you have someone taking care of him/her while you work. In my case it was my mom who was the babysitter during those 1.5 hours.
3. Plan the execution order. One of the factors that helped me to accomplish this project in that particular Wednesday (aka on Super Wednesday) was to know exactly in which order I should be doing the tasks.
The execution order is very important so pay close attention to it. When you know the order of steps, it could really save your time – rather than trying to figure out the order when you start working.
4. Take breaks when needed
Stand up from your chair, walk around or even stretch a bit at times. Also, make sure you have a glass of water on the desk.
This is going to be an intense time block, but it’s still a good idea to move around a bit – not just sit all the time.
I was very encouraged about my experience and nowadays the Wednesdays are dedicated for working on smaller projects in tight time blocks. Just make sure you prepare for the time block and its steps in advance.
Eventually you’ll see that this way you get a lot of pending projects off your list and it makes you feel good.
Over to you: Do you take advantage of time blocks when working?