Last week we had our “Before December Boost Challenge” to change from the “omg the year is over where did it go” mindset to “it’s not December yet, let’s make a dent into an important project before it even starts”. It went very well: we have 35 hours of work documented! I suppose most of them would have not happened without the challenge. We had 26 people in the doodle, 15 people working for three days or more.
Motivation comes from doing.
Not only that. Doing is very informative. You learn about your project (only after you started you can realize you are missing that one piece of material that needs to be ordered and takes a whole week to arrive). You learn about how you work (citing a challenge participant “I also realized that it was better for me to have a specific time of the day”), and about how useful it is to define even smaller units of work. Here I have to cite my own experience last week. I was checking books to get an idea of the literature “out there” and I realized that I needed just 10 minutes to check one book the way I need. And I had thought it would take much longer! This made it possible to keep up with the challenge even if my son was at home: I just had my book with me all the time and checked it whenever he was absorbed in solo play. Just half hour a day can make a hell of a difference!
Following an important but non urgent project, meaning a project with no close deadline or none at all, is a difficult endeavor. No matter how much you love your project and want to do it, it is just difficult to “find the time” when you are surrounded by urgent stuff claiming for your attention. If we are talking about a project you love, there is something that makes it often even more difficult to pursue: resistance. I just want to have mentioned that to give some relief to the ones who found it impossible to get started. You are probably perfectly normal.
In any case, if you participated now you either know how good it can be to have some public commitment and someone cheering you on, or you noticed that not even that is enough. Therefore I want to offer a more powerful tool in January before you even start thinking of “New Year’s resolutions”. I call it the “Practical Time-Management” session. It is short (two hours) virtual (you be at home or office) and effective. Some of you have heard of it before. Stay tuned: in the next days I will publish here dates and conditions of participation. If you want to make sure you won’t miss anything sign up for my newsletter.
Be warned: a “Practical Time-Management” session is a paid service. I earn my living with this kind work and even if I love to give as much as I can for free, if this is to be sustainable I have to take money. For more free support join the Facebook groups Time4PhD (for PhD projects) and/or Virtual Coworking (for everything else).