How to ace your projects - EVERY time

I've been working flat out on a heap of different projects recently and they're all at that mid-way stage now. But you know what? I know each and every one of them has a beautiful finish in sight. I'm a good beginner, middler and finisher when it comes to completing projects. But I wasn't always . . . 

So here are my 7 top tips on how you can get your projects completed and have some fun along the way!

STEP 1) EAT AN ELEPHANT IN BITE SIZE PIECES

It's a grim thought! But, the 'How to eat an Elephant' saying has always stuck in my mind and it works. As long as you follow the next step too that is. So take your project, break it down into manageable pieces and you'll find it so much easier.

Jango, our Puppy, reminded me of this today when he was learning to go down the stairs for the first time. He whined and panicked until I helped him see it was just one step at a time. Now he's becoming a pro.

REAL LIFE EXAMPLE: Our lawn is one of these situations for me. I have to do the edging in stages. It's not the most fun job, plus I have a puppy to keep away from the blades - when all he wants to do is play when I'm out in the garden! Yesterday I did around the flower beds. Today a bite more!

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Having the right tool helps too. I'm terrified of strimmers, but this tool is perfect for me. Affiliate link on the image.

STEP 2) SET A DEADLINE

Without a deadline, things can really drag on. And on. This step is essential to make sure your projects reach the end and don't wind up being 'half a job' or something which literally drains your energy every time you look at it. Half done jobs have a habit of making you feel guilty.

So set a target and stick to it!

REAL LIFE EXAMPLES: Our Kitchen Cupboards. Another job which I adore when complete, but kinda loathe doing or have to be in the mood for. Some of them look like this . . .

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And some like this . . . 

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My deadline is the end of the weekend and I may need to introduce Step 3, below, to get this one completed. It is driving me crazy so it will happen!

I also have a deadline of the end of next week to get all my Konmari organising complete upstairs (see previous post, here).

More Ikea boxes are on order!

STEP 3) RESEARCH PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS

You can bet your bottom Dollar, someone else has been through whatever it is you're going through. Google is your friend. Get online, go to Google or YouTube and research practical solutions for your projects.

It's completely normal to hit a roadblock every now and again. Overcoming them is what helps us grow and get that sense of glee when we complete a project successfully.

REAL LIFE EXAMPLES: I have a couple right now . . .

This has been driving me nuts since we moved in. Our beautiful oven front is where we like to keep our tea-towel for ease of grabbing when needed. However, as you can see below, the oven door picks up every hint of moisture and streaks like crazy.

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I researched practical solutions online and found these little gems on Amazon. Affiliate link here.

These little adhesive hooks have great reviews on Amazon and they give us a practical solution for our project. Job done!

The other project I've used this step on is our Hallway. It currently looks like this . . . 

We had a shoe storage situation and since getting Jango, well let's just say he likes eating shoes. Or sleeping on them.

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I researched online for practical solutions and found loads of Ikea hacks for shoe storage. We had an old Billy Bookcase (classic!) in the Garage so I hauled it indoors yesterday. 

Liberty cushions make everything look good and to be honest, with the industrial feel we have going on, the Billy Bookcase looks great. Plus it's practical. So we have 2 new billy's on order to flag either side of our bench and create another one of those much-loved 'nooks' in our home.

Perfectly practical and pretty to boot.

STEP 4) GET CREATIVE!

If you start to feel stuck mid-way through a project, switch negativity for creativity.

REAL LIFE EXAMPLES: I love being creative and funds are limited for art as we have so many walls to fill. So, we got our creative caps on and decided to paint our own abstract art. I did mine yesterday and Barry is going to paint his this weekend.

SO MUCH FUN !!!

Here are all my attempts and let's face it, once framed, pretty much anything looks like art.

These were some of my favourites.

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And Barry's final choice for his side of the bed . . . 

Here are the paints (gold, red, black), frames and mounts I bought here. The card was 12" x 12" from a local Craft Shop.

Very inexpensive for such personalised pieces.

I'm also mid-way through making up a simple tray and vase for our Living Room table. I have some Florist's Oasis on order to hold the Roses in place better and some alternative flowers (pink!) coming too. These are Ikea flowers with these simple scatter crystals to fill the vase and hide the stems.

STEP 5) RE-IGNITE SKILLS OR LEARN NEW ONES

Sometimes the solution to your project will be as simple as remembering the sewing class skills you learned or the knitting your Gran taught you.

REAL LIFE EXAMPLE: We really like to keep our Dining Table at least partially covered. But I have yet to find a piece of material the right size to cover the middle section only. And in a design we agree on!

Here's where re-igniting existing skills and learning new ones comes in. . .

I learned to sew at School and I loved it. I made a beanbag, a hat and a skirt. But to be honest, sometimes, for ease and speed, I like to glue fabric nowadays because it looks seamless (!) and holds just as well. So I found, through researching practical solutions - this fabric glue which will hold together two of these Ikea geometric table runners. I may well sew them as well for extra hold.

I have watched how to use the glue (YouTube every time) and I will re-learn the best stitches to use if I decide to go the sewing route as well.

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STEP 6) TAKE PHOTOS OF YOUR PROJECTS

It is essential to see what you're working with when you complete projects and photos are the best tool for this. You can take them, mull them over and even show them to family / friends you trust for advice.

REAL LIFE EXAMPLE: Here's a corner we've been toying with for a while now. I moved the delicious Liberty London cushions into the hallway yesterday and now the corner looks so drab with the crab cushion. Rhyme completely unintentional I swear!

Drab crab, hah!

The yellow Liberty Cushion lifts it, but maybe it will be too much pattern once we find artwork to go above our Little Professor Chair.

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Funny how our puppy bed and rug both ended up being cow hide print!

And perhaps a plain cushion will work best, but we won't know for sure until we find our art piece for this corner.

THEN...MORE PHOTOS!

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FINAL STEP . . . 

7) TAKE A BREATH

If you feel you're just not in the right space to complete a certain project right now, that's okay too. Step away and box it for another time. Just set a deadline if you feel it may drag on and on indefinitely.

This little guy sits next to my work-space at home and I often look at his serene, calm, unassuming demeanour. He helps me remember to appreciate each and every moment and not stress about the bigger picture so much. 

Life is about achieving, but it's also about letting go and living in the right now. 

Appreciate your projects, not just for when they are complete, but for every step you take towards them.

Live in the moment and your projects will fill you with joy.

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*Not a sponsored post. Affiliate links included.*