I have so many ideas in my head, but don’t know how to get them all done, especially because I’m buried in schoolwork and soccer practice. So instead of actually doing my ideas, I just get more and more frustrated with myself for not finishing (or even starting) many of them. How can I find the time to work on all my projects?
Chelsea, age 16
Boy, do I know all about this one. I frequently spend time in the space of “too many big ideas, too little time.” While I’m not sure I can help you find more hours in your day, I do have some ideas for how you can feel less frustrated and more on top of all your great plans!
1. Get the ideas out of your head: Keep a dedicated notebook or create a bulletin board/wall in your bedroom where you can tack or paste up your ideas. Stick to one idea per page/Post-It, and as soon as you get a new idea you want to tackle, get it down on paper. What’s great about this strategy is once you know you’ve transferred your idea from your head to somewhere permanent, you can stop thinking about it so much, and better yet, stop fixating on the fact that you’re not taking action.
2. Work on one project at a time: When you do find yourself with a little extra time, go to your idea notebook or bulletin board and choose the project that you feel most excited and passionate about diving into. If you have to force the enthusiasm, you’ll be less likely to follow through.
3. Be patient with yourself: Good ideas sometimes take time to build momentum. Work at a pace that feels comfortable and don’t worry if your interests shifts to another project halfway through. When you proceed at a comfortable pace and follow your gut about where your extra energy should go, you can’t lose!
Debbie Reber is a speaker, Gen Y life coach, and the bestselling author of Chill: Stress-Reducing Techniques for a More Balanced, Peaceful You and In Their Shoes: Extraordinary Women Describe Their Amazing Careers. Visit Debbie on her website here.
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