Do you have problems in life?
I know… Who doesn’t?
But I’m going to show you a simple way to get rid of all your woes.
But before that, a quick story.
Last year I and Arif were in Amsterdam with David Allen getting trained in GTD® Level 2 “Projects & Priorities”. Out of curiosity, I asked David, “What’s the vision for the David Allen company.” His reply was, “To help create a world where there are no problems, only projects.”
That answer really stuck with me. It seemed like the ideal answer to the question, ‘How to stop complaining?’
What I loved about David’s reply was that it empowered me to re-frame any problem into a Project.
A project in GTD terms is the list of all your successful outcomes that take more than one step to complete.
This is what a projects list could look like:
- Digitize old family photographs
- Launch new version of Company Website
- Implement Systems in Customer Care department
- Get tooth filled
Nevertheless, circling back to my initial point on how you can get rid of all your problems.
When you think you have a problem, it puts you in the mindset of a victim. And when you’re a victim, there’s only one thing you can do well. COMPLAIN!
… if you view the problem objectively, and ask yourself “What’s the successful outcome I desire from the resolution of this problem?” & “What’s the Next Action?”, you automatically move away from being a whiner to being the driver – the empowered individual who is now in control.
Here are some examples of how you can convert problems into projects, by asking the two critical questions discussed above:
Problem: I’ve got a short temper
Project: Control Over How I React to Situations
Next Action: Search online for good anger management classes in my locality
Problem: I don’t have enough money to buy an iPhone
Project: Save $200 for the next 3 months, to afford an iPhone
Next Action: Do a budget review to identify areas where I can cut unnecessary expenses
Problem: My customer is giving me a tough time
Project: Turn Annoying Customer Into Evangelist
Next Action: Discuss with partner why customer may be behaving the way he is and what can be done to offer better experience to him
Problem: I’ve got a tooth ache.
Project: Ensure Proper Care to Eliminate Toothache
Next Action: Call dentist to book an appointment
2 Steps to Start transforming Problems into Projects
Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed and catch yourself complaining,. take these two steps to get back in the Driver’s seat.
Step 1: Collect your thoughts and write down all the problems you think you have. Nothing is off-limits – issues can be spiritual, emotional, physical or to do with relationships.
Step 2: For each problem ask yourself:
– What’s the successful outcome that would eliminate this problem from my life? This is your project.
– What’s the very next action to move forward on this Project? Now, this is where some people slip up. A Next Action is a single, tangible task that shouldn’t encompass more than one step. Ensure that your ‘Next Action’ is simple and not a mini project in itself.
Do these two things and you will notice yourself experiencing a shift right away. You will no longer be at the mercy of external circumstances. You will re-discover your inner warrior spirit!
So the next time you’re faced with a difficult situation, tell yourself “There are no problems. Only Projects.’ 🙂
Hi! I’m a Master Trainer in Getting Things Done (GTD) and a Holacracy Coach. I believe our work should be an expression of our most creative selves. I work with business owners and their teams to achieve stress-free productivity.
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