In general, I’m pretty good at initiating projects, planning and projecting schedules, and following them through to their glorious completion. Project management brings me great joy. Or maybe I should say, finishing projects brings me great joy. And satisfaction. And self-worth. And peace.
So last year, when we stalled out on like 15 different projects, I was upended into foreign and treacherous territory. Burnout territory.
We all know the perils of burnout. We hear about how bad it can be. We listen to podcasts and read blogs about warning signs of it and how-to avoid it – complete with methods to overcoming it. But still, so many of us fall victim to it.
For me, there is something about finishing projects, completing tasks, overcoming milestones, that maintains my self-esteem and sense of self-worth. When I boil it down to basics, I simply feel at ease once I’ve accomplished something. I can rest at the end of each day, knowing that my checklists are complete. But left to my own devices, I tend to take on too much. “Think of how awesome it will feel to get every thing done!” So I add more and more…and more to the plan – until finally, boom, insert some unforeseen circumstance, and all of a sudden, everything comes to a full stop.
And that is when I want to lose my mind. I cannot handle being stuck. I need progress.
This is the point in the post that I want to pause and fully explain all of the projects, their status, and why we stalled out. Suffice to say, we had just completed a major section of our patio – yard – house remodel, and our contractor went m.i.a. Literally he just vanished. I tried to re-inspire him to finish our project, but he didn’t respond. No replies. No explanations. I was stuck. And so it stopped.
For about 4 months. The projects. They all stopped.
To clarify…they all stopped, but I didn’t stop. I wish I could say that I took the time to rest. Relax. Enjoy the progress we’d made thus far. Nope. I spent hours, and days and weeks looking for a new contractor, I researched how to finish certain things on my own, I googled metal fabricators, fence builders, elevator lift vendors, I called friends for recommendations on landscapers, powder coating shops, vent covers. e.t.c.!
I was determined. I had vision. I had a new day planner.
And sure enough. The wheels started slowly turning…like when a train begins to move from a dead stop. Very slow at first, one project started getting some traction. A landscape contractor, who went to my alma mater Cal Poly, signed on to the project (Go Mustangs!), and I started getting clarity on the finishing touches that would bring our projects to life.
I’m happy to say, that some how, it was probably the day planner, I stayed focused and got unstuck. And one by one, our projects are getting finished. And I’m ready to bring you along and show you what we’ve done! One day, I’ll follow up with some learnings on burnout and rest. But for now…get a good planner, stay focused. That’s my learning!
Next week. The Garage. Stay tuned.