One surprising way to get those tough projects done

by Michele on September 28, 2012

Solopreneurs need some clock-free timeHave you ever had a project drag on and not get done?  Everyone has.  It’s part of being a business owner.  Some of what we do isn’t fun, but has to get done anyway.  I often find projects get hard and tedious about half to two-thirds of the way through.  Right when we’re most tempted to give up is worst time to give up – you lose all of the effort you’ve already put in and get none of the reward of completing the project.

There’s lots of hacks to help you get through projects.  Mindmap your remaining tasks, list your remaining tasks, reward yourself for each milestone, chunk it down and work in small bits of time every day, get some help, scale the project down, etc.  Here’s another hack to add to that list:

Turn the clock off

What does that mean?  As solopreneurs, we have to watch our time really carefully.  Our tasks and projects have to be completed in the right amount of time in order to be profitable.  Things that tend to expand must be contained.  We may have to consider how many hours something will take in order to set a price for it.  We have more we want to do than we could ever actually get done, so every decision about what to do or leave undone has a time component.

In other words, as solopreneurs we spend a lot of time watching time.  It can be exhausting, and even worse it can deaden your enthusiasm right when you need it most.

When you reach the dead zone on a big job and you’ve tried all the other tricks to get moving again, try separating the project from time.  Hide all the clocks around, and just go to work.  Don’t worry about how long you’ve been working, how much longer you have to go or how long it takes.  Just do what needs to be done.  Sometimes you’ll find that you can actually make big progress on something when you’re not under the thumb of time.  It frees you up to take as long as you need, even if it’s a long time.  It takes away the pressure of time deadlines which may let you do great work.  You may even find that a project you were dreading suddenly becomes more fun (or at least less dreadful) without having to watch every minute you spend on it.

How do you get away from time pressure?  Do you ever get away from it?  How does it change your work?  Tell me about it in the comments.


  1. Mozette says:

    I’ve been known to set aside a whole day or two to sit down and work on one thing that needs to get done. I’ll ignore the pile of laundry, the washing up, the phone…. everything around me until it’s finished. But I do keep a watch around because being on a medication means I have to eat and make sure I take my meds at the right time…. so no clock-hiding for me.

    I just have to learn to focus.

    1. Michele says:

      Mozette, I think focus is one of the keys to getting anything done. All good points.

Previous post:

Next post: