The human brain likes completion in almost every area. When you start something, you get a buzz from finishing it – whether it’s reading a book or finally signing off on a major marketing project.
But, let’s be honest; there are some projects you will get involved in when you are in business are never ending. And it can be difficult to keep your sanity when the scope starts to creep, and delays start occurring. Here are some tips to help you keep your motivation high when working on vast, never ending projects.
Focus on the small wins
Bite-sized accomplishments can help you get over the sheer enormity of any project, so it’s important to concentrate on these as much as possible. Split your work into manageable chunks, and make sure that you have something you can finish your day with, so you can actually switch off for a while when you get home. Completing anything, even if it’s only baby steps, will help you retain your motivation and get things done.
Signpost everything to your overall business goals
All projects exist for one particular reason, and it’s important to have this aim front and center when it comes to managing work and keeping yourself sane. It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture when you are neck deep in a project, and it’s at times like these when scope creep starts to kick in. Stick with the narrative, keep your focus on your overall aims, and ensure that you keep your priorities up to date, and you will find you have the ability to stay on track.
It won’t take long before your whiteboard or project folder becomes a mess of post-it notes, diagrams, and charts. And while doing things the old school way can work for small projects, it’s a different story for the ones that seem to last forever. Your best bet is to use specialist project management software, which helps you focus on the most important issues. Whether it’s using JIRA test case management or something simpler like Trello depends on your project needs. But ultimately, using specialist software will take a lot of pressure off you, cross tasks off the list, and help you visualise where you are going right – and wrong.
Challenge yourself and your teams
Motivation can come from two sources – yourself or an inspiring manager. So when it comes to running complicated projects, it’s vital to keep challenging yourself, and also to engage the minds of those team members that are helping you. It’s easy to get bored with seemingly endless, similar tasks, so keep people interested by asking questions, seeking solutions, and generating discussion about how you can improve and speed up processes.
Have an external release
Finally, when you are stuck in the middle of an enormous project, it can be tough to see anything else. But the reality is that when this happens, you will find yourself starting to suffer from motivation issues. It’s important, then, to have something else to focus on so you don’t suffer from burnout. It’s good for the enthusiasm, gets you excited about life again, and helps you avoid boredom and restlessness.