Tell me if this sounds familiar.
You spend your days rushing madly from one commitment to another and barely have time to breathe.
Then, just as you’re starting to get resentful that people expect too much of you and you never have time to just ‘be’, a window of time opens up in your schedule.
Maybe the school fair is run and done.
Or the footy season’s over.
Or you get injured, so marathon training gets shelved for a few months.
Ah! How nice it is to be able to breathe again.
And you do.
For a second.
But then you get angsty. After all, there’s so much to do, so many people to help and so many opportunities to be taken up.
And now you have time for some of those things.
So you say ‘Yes’ to something new, and before long you’re back on the ‘crazy busy’ treadmill again.
The one where:
- Your partner gets resentful because you’re constantly distracted and distant and have no time for them.
- Your kids are wary and tiptoe around you because you’re so irritable and crabby.
- You hate the world because the planning required to tick every box means your mind is going at 100 miles an hour, even when you’re sleeping. Especially when you’re sleeping.
Happily, I have a cure. A single project that will help break the cycle.
An Infinity Project
This is a concept I got from James Schramko while working with him on his new book, Work Less, Make More. In the chapter where James talks about the importance of building a team to support you in your business, he addresses a common objection:
What about those occasions where I don’t have enough work to keep them occupied?
You have an Infinity Project.
One this is not urgent, but it’s always there and always has something to do on it. His business’s infinity project is a niche news website/online hub. That website can never have too many articles, galleries or product reviews. If his team have nothing to work on, they work on adding content to that website.
How will an Infinity Project cure you of overwhelm?
Well, the next time you find yourself with a window of time that’s begging to be filled, instead of saying ‘Yes’ to something someone else wants you to do, say ‘Yes’ to something you want to do.
Your Infinity Project.
It could be writing a book, creating a memory book of your year, crocheting a blanket, working on your garden, something with your kids (a family infinity project!)
It doesn’t really matter what the thing is so long as:
- It’s something you enjoy doing.
- There’s no urgency. (i.e. If you get to work on it, great! If you shelve it for a while, no problem!)
Your Infinity Project acts as a filter and makes you more intentional about the things you say ‘Yes’ to. Every time you’re asked to do something, or an opportunity presents itself; you can now ask yourself:
‘Is it worth saying ‘Yes’ to this thing given it will mean saying ‘No’ to working on my infinity project?’
There’s a saying that goes:
Time is what we want most, but what we use the worst.
I reckon an Infinity Project might be just what we all need to ensure we’re not just getting back the time we want, but also using that time in the very best way possible.
So, now, you have just one question to answer:
What’s your Infinity Project?
Tell me in the comments.