Let’s say you were tasked to organize an office party and your boss says: “Money is no issue!”. Doesn’t make “Plan this party, make it great, but don’t spend over $5000.” your life much easier?
The greatest and the worst attribute of the internet is that it offers a virtually infinite amount of information. The difference between “Find all information on topic XYZ you can get” versus “find all information on topic XYZ you can find in the next three hours.” is significant. Right? Impossible becomes attainable.
There are likely unlimited ways to define a project, but my favorite definition is the following one:
“A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result” (PMBOK Guide, Project Management Insitute).
Therefore, a project not only has a clearly defined goal, it also has a deadline. When a project is initiated, other limited resources, as money, personnel, materials, etc. are also immediately assigned to it. The project manager has to work with these limited resources within a set timeline to achieve the project goal. If certain milestones are not reached within deadlines or unexpected events occur, he may either have to request an increase of resources, reduction of deliverables or ask for an extension of the project timeline. In other words, he needs to check and adjust. That is all governed by clear rules and processes.
As private people, however, we often act, and live like everything was unlimited. The result is that we often don’t reach our goals.
“Heck, I am trying to work out every day, why don’t I lose weight? My credit card debt is growing, but I am trying to save where I can! I just don’t have time for XYZ. I will fly to the Maldives someday….”
Can you even remotely relate to any one of these statements? I know, I can.
Set specific goals, a deadline and assign resources needed to achieve this goal. Revisit and readjust as needed once or twice. But that is it.
We often blame being a perfectionist, when we cannot get done with something. The problem with that is, we are too afraid to limit the amount of effort and time we put into this thing because exceeding any of these means failure. And of course we don’t like to fail.
However, wasting time and money on a goal that you never reach means failing every single day.
Think about that for a while.
Failing means learning. Set boundaries and deliver! You’ll be happier for it.