There are many, many wonderful ways to approach a project and make Giant Progress on it.
By “wonderful”, I mean useful, fun, powerful, effective, light-hearted, joyful and/or play-filled. As in: not stressful and depressing.
The point is: variety!
There are least as many valid methods for projectizing a project as there are people and projects but realistically probably way more. More!
Because we’re all different. And because we’re creative, inventive people engaged in a process of mindfully discovering neat and useful things about how we function.
Today: the art of the OOD.
This is one of my favorite projectizing methods ever. It’s one I often use on my projects at Rally (Rally!)
The OOD is pronounced Oooooood — rhymes with food — and it is the not especially secret code for:
Object Of Desire.
I’ll share the full version with all the steps, though of course you condense it. Pick and choose. Adapt and adjust. Move things around. Whatever works. Here we go:
1. State the OOD.
This is your basic declarative statement of the thing you want. Or a proxy.
I often do this part with crayons or magic markers on colored paper, which I then tape to the wall.
It’s a way of finding out what happens when you say the thing:
I want to set up a series of Shiva Nata classes!
That was the OOD I worked with at the last Rally.
Note! Rally ended last Thursday, and these classes not only were set up but also have already sold out. Thank you, OOD and Rally and blog readers.
2. Is this what I really want? In what ways?
Quite often, stating the OOD helps you realize that the thing you thought you wanted isn’t the thing.
Or is only part of the thing.
Maybe you realize you want to enjoy the creative process and you don’t actually care whether people see your painting. Or you want to bring a sum of money into your business but it doesn’t have to be through writing that ebook.
Related to the above. You aren’t just looking at the Object of Desire but the essence of wanting it.
What are the qualities that this project brings into your life? What defines it? What are you really and truly gwishing here?
Yesterday, the OOD I was working with was my Plum Duff days project. And the qualities I wanted for it were:
[+fun] [+gleeful] [+exciting] [+enthusiasm] [+joyous] [+delight][+buoyancy] [+light-hearted] [+trust] [+pleasure] [+experimentation] [+courage] [+wheeee!]
4. Why I want this.
Always useful to remember. Especially after you’ve just tuned into the essence of the wanting.
There are a lot of legitimate reasons for wanting your project and for working on your relationship to that project, and it’s good to get them out there.
Often this is where the fuzzball monsters will start really getting loud What?! You want to make MONEY?! And have more TIME?!
And this is useful because we need them for the next step.
5. Possible disadvantages, What-iffery, monster-objections.
This is the new home for the worries — from the Very Legitimate Concerns all the way to the Batshit Crazy This Is Me Obsessing Over Things That Will Never Happen.
It’s all good. You just want to know what they are.
What if I’m not ready? What if I can’t finish in time? What if I get stuck in the middle? What if it’s no good? What if I suddenly go blind and then I trip over a pile of socks and then this will live forever in my memory as the project that ruined everything?
Often as you’re listing the objections, the solutions show up at the same time.
Useful resource if you get stuck here: the monster manual & coloring book.
I am somewhat allergic to words like “timing”, “schedule”, and “deadlines”.
So I use the Hebrew word tizmun, which has elements of timing, arranging, itineraries and so on, but doesn’t freak me out.
This is where I figure out all the what-needs-to-happen-when bits.
Uh oh, if I do X before I do Q, then that’s no good. Note to self: start with Q!
And so on.
I don’t need to have it all figured out. This is just taking notes.
7. What will help?
This is kind of basic Book of You stuff. You might already know what helps. But it’s good to ask.
My list generally includes things like: Talk to H! Drink water! Take breaks! Do some reverse engineering! Ask for help!
8. Slightly Future Me says….
I don’t do anything without asking slightly future me (aka the me who is a few steps ahead of me) for advice and support.
How did she figure this stuff out? What does she wish that I knew? Where does she think I should start? What should I look out for?
What is useful about the places where I’m currently feeling stuck?
9. Allies, resources and helper mice!
Who is going to help me with this?
Whether with advice, moral support, spreading the word, holding me (lovingly) accountable…
Keep in mind that allies can also totally be fictional, imaginary or no longer alive.
10. Practical mapping.
This is where I go ahead and just make the List of Steps. What am I going to need to do? And in what order?
I put these on post-it notes so I can move them around in different combinations.
Listing possible next steps in the soft.
The soft = all the things that can’t really be seen.
The destuckifying as opposed to the active doing.
11. Processing pain.
Working on a project means that your stuff will come up. There is, sadly, no real way to avoid this.
That’s because you’re dealing with an Object of Desire. So all the parts of you that are invested in not having it will show up.
Plus old grief and pain about past situations in which you weren’t able to have what you wanted, or you did get it but things went horribly, horribly wrong.
Projectizing comes with pain. Sometimes anger. This is normal!
And we need to interact with the existence of that pain in gentle, conscious, loving, inquisitive ways. But without diving into the pain and being in pain.
See: everything I’ve ever written about destuckification.
This is where you take notes about various steps in the project or your relationship with the project, or the project as a whole:
What worked? What am I going to try differently for next time?
And that’s the OOD.
It’s challenging, powerful and surprising. And it saves time. And it’s awesome.
Plus you can do the whole thing with crayons if you want.
Playing! Caveats and comment zen.
We invoke Paul’s rule of People Vary. You can adjust and adapt any aspect of this to your needs. This is only one way to projectize, and it’s only one of the methods I use.
The important part is not the steps but the approach:
If you’d like to play with any or all elements of the OOD here, yay! If you want to share projectizing stories of your own or discuss the approach, go for it.
Reminder! This is hard work. We all have our stuff. We make space for our stuff and we don’t tell each other what to do or how to feel.
Much love to the commenter mice, the Beloved Lurkers and everyone who reads.