Maria Matarelli Blogs

Monday, February 28, 2011

Work in Progress: A Constant Struggle

Overwhelmed with too much Work In Progress?
"I have all this Work in Progress (WIP) but I can't seem to get anything done..."
Sometimes it can be easy to start up a bunch of work and you may feel productive because you are constantly busy, but do you ever stop to ask yourself what you are accomplishing or ensure that you are finishing tasks through to completion. Taking a step back to review what you are completing may be a good periodic step.

Gain Momentum from small wins
If a task seems overwhelming, breaking it down into smaller pieces could help it become more manageable. You can gain incredible momentum from small wins. Completing work in progress can stimulate fuel from a sense of accomplishment. Remember to celebrate your successes and utilize that positive momentum.

Identify your roadblocks
Take a moment to survey your current situation and look for what may be preventing you from making progress. Sometimes, small roadblocks may derail your focus that you may not be aware of. If you are trying to do something that is not your core strength, maybe you need to find someone with that skill and work with them to complete the task that stood as your roadblock.

Leverage your strengths
What are you good at? Are you spending your time on something that does not come naturally to you? Identify things that you can do to use your strengths and see if you can either build your skills  in that area vs. leveraging the skills of others with that expertise to allow you to do the things that you are good at.

Beware of inefficient multi-tasking
Studies have been done on the inefficiencies of multi-tasking. Compared to working on one task until it is done, multi-tasking can often lead to a lot of tasks started, but nothing finished. This can lead to subconscious discouragement. You could be operating  in a constant state of Work In Progress unknowingly missing the stimulation and encouragement that comes from small achievements and pocket wins.

The impacts
Without a clear order or idea of everything that needs to be done and your current progress, one could have a general sense of unease along with this inefficiency which only causes a lag in performance and may lead to less accomplishments.

Assess your current work in progress and really look at what may be keeping you from being productive. It may be the case that finishing up some of those loose ends could free your subconscious to be more effective while you complete needed tasks.