Having just finished writing and recording the content for my newest coaching and training package, Ops Boss Training Center, the lessons I learned are still very fresh in my mind. I know you can benefit from knowing about some of the obstacles I faced and I how I overcame them.
Before I connected with Christy Belt Grossman and everything was on my own shoulders to get it all done, I was working at a snail’s pace. I thought that creating, recording, and editing all the content for the course would take about three months. That estimation was probably true if I had put forth focused effort. Fact is though that I didn’t anticipate selling my home and moving just a few miles across town to a new one. My husband and I had been thinking of a move to a bigger house with a more open floor plan, but we hadn’t committed to anything. Until we did. And then all my focus went into the move.
Then after the move, I had no more excuses and yet I was slow on the execution. So I hired a coach to hold me accountable. I knew Christy was counting on me to write this course, so with my coach’s help and encouragement, I set up a game plan for how I was going to get it all done.
When I know someone is watching, I always want to impress them. It comes from my childhood days of getting accolades from parents and teachers for getting good grades. But if you really want to follow through on the things that really matter, having someone there to ask you hard questions and hold your feet to the fire is actually very helpful!
What’s funny about accountability is that I already knew that it works. So much so that if I had someone holding me accountable, then that would mean I’d have to actually follow through on the things I said I wanted to do. Isn’t that just ridiculous. Like I’m afraid someone is going to make me do the thing I want to do. Sheesh.
Use the Right Tools for the Job
When I started planning this project, I wanted a way to make it visual and portable. I wanted to be able to work on the course whether I was at home or at the office. That’s why I settled on Trello. Each column became a module and each card became a lesson. Where this really paid off for me visually was when I color-coded the labels so I could see which lessons I had finished writing, which ones needed to be recorded, and which ones were done. Seeing the colors change from all green (to be written) to all red (done) was very motivating.
At one point I figured out that my webcam didn’t produce as good a video as my cell phone, but my cell phone didn’t produce as good a sound as my stand-alone microphone. So I had to figure out how to pair cell phone video with stand-alone microphone audio. It took some time to get it right, but the effort was worth it!
Get Clear on the Outcome
I’d say one of the biggest obstacles and probably the biggest reason as to why it took so long to finish was that I wasn’t clear with myself from the beginning about what I wanted the finished project to look like. I used Trello to keep everything organized, but I should have put more effort into reviewing each section to make sure it was congruent. I ended up repeating myself in a couple different sections and wasting time.
I also started creating my slides with whatever looked good, and when I got feedback that everything should look similar and be branded with colors and logos, I had to go back and fix some things I thought I was done with.
Along with this, I would add the need to get feedback often. If someone else’s opinion matters in your project, get it from the beginning and keep asking for reviews all along the way. There’s no sense in finishing a project and then having it criticized and torn apart by another person who’s opinion matters.
Knowing when I would work on this project really helped me. There were times when I would plan to work on the project, but then the unexpected would happen like getting sick. It was hard to spend time resting when I knew I should be working on this project, but I had to keep reassuring myself that I had moved my time block, I hadn’t erased it. Knowing I still had a time in the future already planned let me rest up and get better.
When working on the project became a “should” in my mind instead a “must” is when it was easy to blow off the project at times and it held me back from finishing sooner. I was used to having weekends off and doing whatever my husband and I felt like doing in the moment. But when I made the commitment to finish this project by a deadline, there was no more of that. I had to tell my husband that I wouldn’t be available to go out for most of the day on Saturday or Sunday. Of course, that was even more incentive to finish the project quickly: so I could get my weekend goofing off time back!
Make a plan to put these things in place the next time you have a big project at work or at home and things will go much easier for you!