The Project You Can't Afford to Ignore

The latest copy of Entrepeneur magazine arrived last week with Sir Richard Branson on the cover.  A day later and Fast Company showed up, this time with Ceelo Green's pearly whites on the front.  Both Branson and Green were heralded as visionary, creative and successfully disruptive.

The problem is that I'm not Branson nor do I have the charisma of Green.  Actually I'm pretty ordinary.

This all ties in to our pursuit of Getting Things Done.  If you see yourself as an innovator and visionary, you might ignore the projects that are far less glamorous.  

But just as important.

Earlier today I finished Phase I of a porch renovation.  Having fallen victim to the elements, the outside of my three-season porch had become a role-model for chipping, cracking and overall ugly.  

Here's a shot of the porch after I had chipped and sanded the bad spots:

Not the most exciting project, admittedly.  Few will even see the improvements as the worst spots are facing the back of the property.  Still, this project was important for at least a few reasons:


  1. If I didn't address the chipping paint, it would get worse and rot could set in.
  2. My wife wanted it to get done.


Reason #2 was enough for me (pragmatist) but Reason #1 was just as important.  I could have ignored the work for a few more months.  I could have hired someone to do it.  Instead, I broke it down into small, bite-sized steps and conquered the monotony of chipping, sanding and priming.  

My assistant also helped with the process:

Like me, you may have a project (or two or three?) that you could put off but you know you shouldn't.  We had some paving to do at work a few months back.  Tackle it now and the price would be about 75K.  Put if off till later and the price would double.  We chose the former.

Your project might be as big as paving a parking lot or as small as fixing your porch.  It might have 35 subtasks in our ToDo manager or it might be written on a knapkin.

The key is to ask yourself, "If I put this off any longer, what will be the consequences?"  In other words: do it today.  The cost of putting it off could be greater that you currently see.  The reward could also be pretty darn sweet.

My final product: