Having a project plan helps me prioritize my goals and helped me learn how to be organized. It seems that people with ADD (at least those of you like me) have literally dozens of things they want to work on and accomplish and the list is always growing. Having a project plan is even more important for people with ADD since we are often struck by inspiration and make huge associative leaps quite often.
If you can learn how to be organized with your goals and projects and prioritize them, it will be easier to make well thought out decisions about what to do with a new idea. Rather than flitting from one project to another, you want to be able to make progress on your projects and overarching goals. Having a project plan (even a very simple one) is one of the keys to success in life. In addition, by being more organized, you will be able to take advantage of a benefit of ADD, the ability to work on several things at once without falling prey to actual multitasking.
To Make A Project Plan
Here are the steps to the goal and project organization process I use:
- Write down all your projects
- Prioritize them in order of importance to you (No ties allowed; you have to choose.) and when they should be completed.
- Decide how many of the top items on the list you can devote time to during an average month.
- Divide that list in half and identify the top projects. (There most likely will be 3 to 5 items.)
- Write (or type) that list down where you can look at it anytime, anywhere.
- Finally, when you tempted with a new project, take your list out and look at it carefully. Decide if your new project idea should really take priority over anything on your list. Take into account how far along you are with each of the items on your current list. If you decide to leave the top of your list alone, then you can always add this project idea to your larger list. If you decide to replace something at the top of your list with this new thing, sit on it for a day and then reevaluate to ensure it is not just a whim.
When you are going through this process keep in mind that the few items at the top of your list are your highest priority items. The activities and goals that are supposed to be most important to you. You should be committing significant energy and time toward the completion of these items.
Keep in mind that you are writing down all your ideas, so you can always come back to any of them in the future. When you complete an item on your short list that is just what you will do. Sometimes it is valuable to do an overall reevaluation of your projects/goals. You may want to do this every 3 to 6 months.
Finally, this may all seem restrictive, but it is meant to be a dynamic process. The major goal of it is to force you to seriously consider how you will spend your time and not change what you are working on from day to day, thus accomplishing very little. This is meant to provide structure not inflexibility. Having a project plan is meant to help you learn how to be organized.
Please let me know what you think. This process has helped me and I sincerely hope it helps you. But if you have other ideas and suggestions, please do pass them along. We can all benefit.