3 Nifty Strategies for Picking Your Next Project
Photo courtesy of Sibel.

3 Nifty Strategies for Picking Your Next Project

Written by Bev Webb

Topics: Productivity

The trouble with having so many interests is that you can end up in choice paralysis, so unsure about which idea to start on next that you end up starting nothing. It can become all too easy to over-think the process. 

“What if I make the wrong choice? I don’t want to waste all my time and energy doing the wrong thing.”

You may have experienced this if you’ve ever tried tossing a coin to make a decision only to find yourself disappointed with the result of the toss. Deep down, you knew which choice you wanted to make; you just hadn’t realized that you already knew.

At the end of the day, it’s really not that important which idea you choose. Honestly, it’s not. It’s more important to get started because it’s only by starting that you’ll ever find out whether or not you want to pursue this idea or interest any further.

If after starting on a new project, you find it isn’t for you, by all means swap to something else. There’s no need to stick with something if you find it’s not giving you the experience you’d hoped it would give you.

How to Choose an Idea and Get Started

If you’re anything like me and find yourself get stuck making decisions, it can be helpful to have a process to help you make a choice.

1) Choose three ideas

Every multipotentialite I’ve ever met has a list at least as long as their arm of projects they’ve been meaning to start but have never gotten around to. Everyone feels overwhelmed when faced with such a long list, so this first step helps to remove that overwhelm.

Now’s the time to grab that list and make a note of the three projects that look the most interesting to you today. Note that I say the three that look the most interesting today. Don’t over-think your choices. Just pick those which are piquing your interest at the moment.

2) Which project could you start today?

You’re looking for a quick starter. A project which won’t take too much planning. We’re trying to circumvent any opportunity to procrastinate by making it so easy to start that you can take action straightaway.

If you feel that none of your three choices fit this description, have another quick scan through your list and grab the first one you see which does. Remember, it doesn’t really matter which idea you choose; you just need a project to make a start on. If it does turn out to not be quite what you want, you can always switch.

3) Make a start now!

Do something to make a start on your chosen project today. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have all the materials or equipment needed, as there’s always something you can do to get started:

  • Make some notes
  • Sketch out some ideas
  • Draw some diagrams
  • Research techniques online
  • Make a list of the resources you need

Finally put a slot in your schedule for your next session to work on this project. Then sit back and congratulate yourself on your progress.

Over to you!

Do you get stuck when deciding which project to work on next? What tips do you have for making the decision?

bevBev is an artist, creativity coach and founder of Kickass Creatives, a website offering practical support to frustrated creatives. She’s over 20 years of working in the arts: experimenting with everything from performing in a fire circus and managing a hiphop dance company, through to web consultancy and jewellery design. Bev is passionate about using her experience to enable others to fully develop (rather than hide) their multitude of talents too. Connect with her on Twitter @creativekickass.

10 Comments

  1. Amber says:

    I love, love, LOVE this!! First of all, this is the first time that I have commented on your AMAZING site, and I just want to say thank you! You have allowed me to see that I am not just an decisive individual who likes to study 20 things at once! It is wonderful how you have made this site to embrace those qualities and incorporate them in ways to create a career best suitable for us! Also I LOVE this post! I am definitely going to be taking this advice!

  2. Bev Webb says:

    Hi Amber!
    Thanks for the great feedback :-) You’re certainly not the only one who likes to have 20 different things on the go – you’re going to totally feel at home on here!

  3. Layla says:

    Great quick-starter! :)

    I’ve often found myself procrastinating with things and this may help!

  4. Bev Webb says:

    Hey Layla! Yep, I know procrastination all too well. This is one of the techniques I’ve used to get things moving again – hope it works for you too. :-)

  5. Jay Piltser says:

    I appreciate anything which cuts through the mental clutter of making decisions about what to tackle next. Thanks!

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hi Jay! It can be real easy to get held up on the little things sometimes, like making a decision. I’m glad you like the get-into-action-now technique too. :-)

  6. Heidi says:

    Hi, Great article. As someone who is also finding themselves in the same boat, I really appreciate some great tips. Stepping into my own personal journey of “finding myself” and trying to navigate what it means to be true to myself, i can see the struggles people have. With so many options, I usually end up in burrying my head in the sand and leaving the decisions for another day!! I had an epiphany recently that doing NOTHING is also a choice, whether conscious or not, so its better STARTING and trying something you’ve wanted to do, then staying still… :). Thanks again.

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hey Heidi
      Oh yes, doing nothing is definitely a choice – unfortunately it’s often a default choice rather than a conscious one! Totally agree that it’s better to get started on something (anything in fact) and let that momentum carry you forward. Many thanks for your comment. :)

  7. Christina says:

    Hey,these are pretty amazing tips. I actually use these myself… I try to narrow down my bucket list to what’s most important, most relevant, most urgent, and even capable of achieving. I consider the resources I already have-including the people surrounding me who can help (and who WANT to). Even though this is a tricky one it usually helps me: ask people. As much as we may fear rejection and discouragement it’s always good to get other people’s thoughts because even if they’re wrong, they will give you some things to consider you might not have. And for those who believe in a God, pray about it. I often find that after I pray things happen that seem to point me in a certain direction~like a text out of the blue from someone I haven’t spoken to in a long time asking me a question about a particular topic. Or the Pastor on Sunday suddenly starts talking about the exact issue I’m struggling with. Or what you thought couldn’t happen suddenly does (such as just recently being told I’ll have a month and a half off ’cause my store is getting renovated; and simultaneously having a friend commit to helping me with a project I had put a Pause on because it would require time and a partner to help!) .. Keep up these awesome articles! God bless

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hi Christina
      Great to hear you’re already using some of these tips and tricks! There’s definitely something to be said for the theory of “right time, right place” cos things have a knack of falling into place when the right circumstances come together. Thanks for your feedback. :)

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