Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Twelve Daily Habits for 2012---Habit #10: Work on a Big Project Every Day

Habit #10: Work on a Big Project Every Day

In the last post’s exercise confession, I described how I am an “all or nothing type of person.” This, as I stated earlier, can be a real boon or a real detriment.

I have always believed in the concept of “do a little bit of a big project everyday,” but, as is true with all really good things, it is not enough to believe it, you have to do it. And that’s where I break down a little.

Oh, I’ve had varying degrees of success with it—and have always loved the outcome of that success. Many years ago, I made a commitment to write curriculum a few days each week—a little at a time. And thirty thousand pages later (they are not *all* text; some are student “worktexts” with lines for the kids to fill in), I know that “write most days” really worked.

I learned a dozen years ago that organizing experts say that you can maintain an organizational system in twenty minutes per day of maintenance. We have applied this to most of our home’s organizational systems and kept things flowing despite full time jobs, homeschooling, and starting a business/family ministry. A little every day keeps things moving on bigger projects in the same way that a few “dailies” each day keep things moving on a day-by-day basis.

I even taught my kids to do this. I can remember our third child, who is now a disability ministry director and gets tons done every day, announcing near the beginning of high school, that no matter what her days held, she was going to do ten minutes of each subject every school day. Obviously, most subjects required more than that, but her thinking (and it is great thinking) was that if she got out each subject for ten minutes every day, regardless of whether she was working that day or going on a field trip, etc., she would make her way through everything by the end of the year. And it worked.

Two years ago I set out on a “do a little bit of a big project everyday” as I started Positive Parenting 3*6*5 and committed to write a post every day—365 days in a row, as much as possible. I ended that on December 30th with success—365 parenting blog posts.

I was inspired again to apply this approach to some big projects I am working on right now by the “Git It Done Guy” (http://www.steverrobbins.com/the-book/ and on FB: http://www.facebook.com/GetItDoneGuy?ref=ts&sk=wall ). This internet self-help guru described how he broke down a big project (an upcoming book) into twenty minute increments every day. I am doing the same this year with my outlines and presentation materials, as well as with our parenting blog and our Language Lady blog.

Truly, to “git ‘it done,” you just have to do it….a little bit at a time.

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