How to get your projects done without pulling your hair out

Author: Yvette Syversen

If you are like most entrepreneurs, you have an endless supply of ideas swirling like a vortex in your head. It’s as if you can’t turn that part of you off. You know the part; it’s continually running like a hamster in a wheel churning out new things to do.

Well, first, lemme tell you, we ladies are wired to constantly be thinking about something. It’s a true scientific-like fact that we have as many as 70,000 thoughts per day! No wonder we are constantly coming up with new ideas.

So you’re not short on ideas, right?

Rather, you have hundreds of great ideas and big goals. Unfortunately, once you nail down which idea you are going to focus on, your next roadblock is the “bigness” of your idea. As a result you end up in overwhelm and you can't figure out HOW to do it because you don’t even know where to start. This causes you to get impatient, you get in your own way, stuck in the details and sadly your ideas never get off the ground.

Or sometimes you do manage to get an idea launched but are struggling to finish what you’ve started.

I get it, most entrepreneurs are visionary types, and it’s very painful for us to sit down and think through all the little details.

The truth is that projects to grow your business involve a lot of work

But here is the twist: the size and type of your projects is irrelevant. No, really. It may seem counter-intuitive but it goes like the old “how do you eat an elephant?” question. One bite at a time! Right?

The key to keeping your sanity and finishing your project is to simply flush out all the deets allowing you to then break it down into smaller more manageable bites. That is the key if you want to bring home the bling that can only come from a completed project.

See, your big goals are like little projects and are achieved through a series of small steps.

When you think of your big’uns as a series of small projects, all of a sudden your project seems much more doable. You are far less likely to feel overwhelmed about getting your big projects completed.

Without breaking down your project and flushing out all the details of what needs to get done, your ideas to move your business forward like getting rid of the last 10 pounds are just going to be pie in the sky thoughts (and I’m not talking mom’s apple pie here, I’m talking Hostess apple pie with those questionable lumps that are supposedly apples.) So there in a nutshell is why you get stuck, want to give up and don’t reach your desired goals.

The cool part about converting your goals into a specific, measurable roadmap (those little projects I talked about earlier) and taking daily focused, committed action is that: you will maintain your interest level, continually move in the right direction and reach your ultimate objective.

Taking small daily steps to get your projects done will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside

and you’ll enjoy a sense of accomplishment every day as you regularly tick things off your ever-shrinking todo list.

Then one day all of a sudden your dream becomes real and concrete, just not tasty like mom's apple pie. There's only so much you can do… well, unless your project is to replicate Mom's apple pie. If you nail that one feel free to invite me over for some. Just drop me a line here:

OK, so where were we? Oh,yeah, so what do I mean by flushing out the deets of your project and then breaking it down into more manageable pieces?

Coincidentally, the next paragraph just so happens to be about that…

Here's the thing, when you look at a big project such as “getting more traffic to your site” all at once you’re like “whoa, that’s incredibly big, vague and overwhelming” so it causes that stress response, right?

But, say you started with writing one guest blog for a colleague’s blog to get more traffic to your site. That is totally manageable right? Just keep taking little steps like that to break down the tasks even further.

But, before you can break down your project completely you need to flush out all the details.

Here is a quick and easy way for you to do that:

I called this formula – “The Back To The Future Method”

Have you ever seen the movie Back to the Future?

The gist of that movie is that Michael J Fox found himself stuck in the past and he had to figure out what he had to do, the exact steps he had to take to return to the future.

But, he had to do it in such a way that it had to be exact otherwise the future (his future) would totally change and he wouldn't be a part of it anymore. Well this is exactly what you need to do to make your goals a reality. Well, not exactly, getting trapped in the past is totally optiional here.

To dissect your project you will start with your desired outcome (the future) and move your way backward from that point (to the past).

You are simply going to go through every detailed step you will need to take to get from where you are to where you want to go in a somewhat backwards fashion.

Starting at the back of things and working your way to the front has huge benefits in that it allows you to get very detailed and complete descriptions of all the pieces you need to complete your project in an organized way.

It also pushes you to think outside the box and get uber creative. Its pretty neat, fun, challenging and amazingly simple.

Using this formula will allow you to take a huge project such as “getting more traffic to your website” or “writing a book” or “losing ten pounds” and flush out all the details.

Now you will be able to see all the tasks needed to get your project done and be able to break it down into smaller bite-sized tasks.

The beauty of tackling your project in this fashion is that you will also be able to see that not all the tasks involved to get your project done will have to be done by you. Thus, giving you a great opportunity to outsource some of the tasks so you are not doing it all. Making your projects more manageable and easier to complete without you losing what is left of your tenuous grip on sanity.

Consistently apply this formula to get your projects done

and watch how you will continue building your empire quickly, efficiently and without all that icky, wrinkle-inducing stress!

Where are you getting stuck when it comes to getting your projects done? What is working for you? What is NOT working? We want to know so please tell us in the comments below.

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How to get your projects done without pulling your hair out via @flourish_Thrive + @yvettesyversen

About Yvette

Yvette Syversen is the owner of –– an educational community for women who want to get their sh$t together online! As a business leverage expert, and former tech consultant for Fortune-500 companies. She’s taught hundreds of women simple frameworks to expand their business from a 6-figure tether that keeps them tied to their desk to an empire that affords them a million dollar lifestyle. Her mission: Empower every woman to take control of her financial destiny by working smart and sexy, not hard and messy!

Visit Yvette’s Site for tidbits on getting everything you’ve always wanted out of your business… money, fulfillment, freedom, impact. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter


  1. Jana Martin on August 27, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Absolutely love this – perfect timing. In the midst of project galore!

  2. Ashley Taylor on August 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    This is great 🙂 Sometimes we get so overwhelmed by all the numerous things involved in running a business or launching a project that we find it difficult to even know what to do first or where the heck to begin…Love the tip about doing little things toward the bigger goal. So helpful 🙂

    • Yvette Syversen | Business Leverage Expert on August 27, 2012 at 1:42 pm

      Thanks Ashley! You are so right, there are lots of moving parts running a business. And so with two kids and two businesses breaking things down helps tremendously in getting things done quicker without losing my sanity 🙂

    • Tracy Matthews on August 27, 2012 at 7:18 pm

      Ashley, I need this post too right now. Thanks for commenting!

  3. cindy@YogaInMyPocket on August 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Good post – I always start at the front but it makes sense to have the end in mind right from the start. That break it down piece sounds so easy, but somehow I find it challenging. Thanks for the info.

    • Yvette Syversen | Business Leverage Expert on August 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks Cindy! Yeah starting at the end is a little trick I learned when I was a high fuluten consultant way back in the day. It helped me flush out every single little thing I needed to get my projects done. Where do you find it challenging?

    • Tracy Matthews on August 27, 2012 at 7:19 pm

      Cindy, yes having the end in mind is key!

  4. Dianne Logarta on August 27, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    This is so me! I have a tendency to want to take in everything all at once. So when I am on to a project, expect me to be pulling my hair out. But after reading this, I just might be able to keep all the hair that’s left on me. Thank you for posting this!

  5. Pam Pearson on August 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    I tend to get stuck right at the beginning. Just getting started. I’ll notice myself doing anything to pull myself from taking that 1st step. Once I do start, momentum really helps me keep moving. Small, incremental steps; like you suggested; create great momentum. And, I get stuck again if I lose that momentum.

    So what works: small, incremental steps and momentum.
    Where I get stuck: getting started and re-started

    Thanks for the tips to help out with this!

    • Tracy Matthews on August 27, 2012 at 7:20 pm

      Momentum is totally key. Thanks so much for commenting Pam.


  6. Mindy Crary on August 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Always great advice on the practical tips to get and keep your business running smoothly, thanks Yvette!

  7. Sarah Steele | Managing You Academy on August 27, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Yvette – great tips. Baby steps are so important to stop a sense of overwhelm and to keep the motivation going. i’ve found it’s also important to constantly tie these baby steps back to the bigger project – otherwise I’ve found it can be very easy to forget why we’re doing this in the first place and motivation dies as the next new shiny project appears. Something as simple as color coding these smaller tasks in my to do list constantly tie daily tasks back to my bigger ‘fun’ project. Sarah

  8. stephanie avedon on August 28, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    I love the working backwards idea. I’m constantly planning, making lists and even getting stuff done without really being able to see the big picture. This strategy completely eliminates that problem.

  9. Kat Bouchard on August 28, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    This is great. I love the tip of working backwards to figure up what you need to do to get your project underway! I agree it is really overwhelming sometimes as an entrepreneur its good to have a formula to get things done!

  10. Great post Yvette….I also like the whimsy in it!! Yes, one step at a time, but I really like how you emphasize to go backwards from the goal. So simple, yet quite effective and smart! I am just starting a new project and this will be a great way to get started – thanks!

  11. Randi Buckley on August 29, 2012 at 2:03 am

    So smart! I love the Back to the Future Method. It’s the perfect solution when you can’t see the end; start there instead. A super reminder. Great post, as always, Yvette!

  12. Megan Flatt on August 29, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Love this post! It is totally written for me this morning! I also LOVE the Back to the Future reference…who doesn’t love a little MJF!! It was great to read that women can have 70,000 thoughts a day! Sometimes I feel like I am going crazy with all my ideas and no action, but with 70,000 a day, I can only take action on so many right!?!

    Love the idea to break down your goals and projects into smaller bites. As a mom of young kids, I often only have small chunks of time throughout my day. I have to break everything down, or nothing would ever get done!

    Great post!!

  13. Sarah Yost on August 29, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Yep, yep and yep. I’m right there with you. I look at overwhelm as a signal that you’re trying to do too much. Break it down to something you CAN do. Start there. Repeat. xo

  14. Nichole Kellerman| Weight Loss & Lifestyle Coach on August 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    This is so true

    –> Taking small daily steps to get your projects done will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside

    Great post (little kick in the pants we all needed 🙂

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