How To – Feel Okay about Redoing a Project

2 Feb

You’ve spent hours on a project and realize that you need to redo it.  How do you find peace and start over?

1.  Get the anger out

It’s completely understandable to feel angry.  You’ve worked hard on something just to find out that it was a waste of time.  Take 15 minutes to feel the anger, vent to a friend, take a walk, feel bad for yourself.  Maybe you’re angry with person who caught the mistake, the system that let you make the mistake, or even yourself for being stupid.  It sucks but at the end of the 15 minute pity party, you need to come to understand that it’s not the end of the world.  After 15 minutes, move on to step 2.

2.  Come to grips with the fact that you need to redo your work

The human reaction is to deny the fact that you need to redo the work and to figure out a way to avoid it.  You can justify why you did it a certain way.  The logic behind your thought process may even made perfect sense.   The problem is, it doesn’t matter.  The work you did was not correct and unless you want to pass along imperfect work, you will need to fix it.

3.  Understand why the work needs to be corrected

Once you realize that fixing your work is inevitable, it is time to understand why it is important to correct your work.  Chances are that the project you were working on is part of a bigger project or process.  It all comes down to this important fact:  Your work should always reflect your best.  If it’s wrong and you know it, you need to fix it.

4.  Beginning again

What steps can you take to begin your project again in a fresh light?  It’s important to make sure that you feel energized to being your project again.   Depending on the size of the project, it might be good to sleep on it.  If you don’t have time, find a way to split up the time between feeling frustrated and starting your project again.  (Hint: I wrote this during that period of time.)

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