I made something for you! And here it is!
Mini-Project Cards! This is something I designed to help you find more clarity and ease to the kind of thing that’s bigger than a task, but not quite a full-fledged project. Or maybe it’s the kind of project that just wants a little bit of help along the way?
These cards have been helping me get through smaller projects (I need to write that thing!) and somewhat complicated tasks (That difficult email I have to send!) for a while now, so I made some to share with you!
Check it out! Here is a picture of two of my mini-project cards in action:
How to use your Mini-Project Cards
Go ahead and print out a sheet (here’s that link again!) and cut it in half, then fold each card down the middle. Or print out multiple sheets, enough for however many things you want to work on.
Got it? Great! Here’s a description of how to fill them out, if you need some help along the way. Or skip down to the next section for ideas about how to use them.
On the first side, give your mini-project a code name! I use code letters, or symbols, or funny meaningful-only-to-me names. This name will help you identify your project when the card is flipped over, without scaring you away with too many details or too much reality if it’s a scary thing you want to do.
On this side, leave the How did it go section blank for now, you’ll come back to it when you’re done, to take some notes and focus on the qualities of exiting and finishing.
Flip it over! Your mini-project has a description.
Give it a more descriptive title on the flipside. This is a brief description of what you’re going to do! Go ahead and fill that in.
Tools and Resources
What’s going to help you on the way? Usually my mini-projects aren’t starting from scratch, or there are specific tools I need to gather first. Documents? A specific email? That one really awesome red pen? This is where you write that stuff down, to make sure you have everything you need before jumping in.
Qualities and Intentions
The awesome reminders of why you’re really doing this, or the secret protection words that will keep you safe as you do it. Sometimes I might be resentful of amending that grant budget, but I do love things like clarity, renewal, preparation and ease. Put those things here so you can remind yourself as you go!
Steps & parts of your mini-project
This the stuff you know you need to do. Or guess you’ll want to do. Think through your project a little bit — write down the obvious stuff, and perhaps leave some extra room to add steps as you go (most every project, no matter the size, has extra steps!).
I like to fill mine out in the morning, when I have three or four things I really need to work on, but there’s just too many details rushing around in my head to get clarity. What are these projects? How can I get deeper into them?
So I’ll fill out my cards, and lay them out on my desk so I can only see the mini-projects’ code words. When I’m ready? I pick one out. I flip it over and re-read what I wrote there. I think about the qualities, like the fastest meditation ever, just a quick reminder to my brain that there is awesomeness hiding here, even on very mundane projects. Then I assemble the tools I want to work with, and I dive in.
Any time I get bogged down or remember to take a quick break, I think about those qualities, and connect to the goodness at the heart of my project. (I’m looking at one right now! The qualities of this blog post are: Sharing, Mirroring, Helping and Giving.)
And when I’m ready to move to the next thing, I pick a new mini-project card. Kind of like picking a card from a tarot deck — sometimes I let fate decide for me, sometimes I know what I’m in the mood to work with.
You may want to fill out just one card, and then go into your task. You may want to fill it out after you finish a task, to remind yourself of what went into it, or take notes for next time. You can fill one out in the middle of a project, to take a breather and figure out what to do next. Or you may want to ignore my cards entirely and make up your own version, on index cards! On pretty paper!
However you use them, keep in mind this is just one tool among many, many others, to help you connect to the essence of what you want to do, the intention behind what you want to do, and to support you with the right resources and reminders as you go along.
And when you’re done? Huzzah! Throw some confetti! Scribble down a few things on your mini-project card, in that big blank area on the front. Leave yourself some clues for next time, or give yourself space to vent about how that one thing really didn’t go according to plan, or simply draw yourself a little picture of yourself, happy and done with your mini-project.
Why clarity is awesome
When your project or your idea has natural flow and rhythm, that’s awesome. Sometimes it appears on its own, but sometimes projects need a little help. I use mini-project cards to bring more mindfulness, guidance and gentle structure to my work. Maybe they’ll be helpful for you, too?
They’re not perfect, of course, because I am not a fancy designer and we all have dreams a little bigger than our mundane computers are capable of translating, yes? And while they might not fix every project, or clean your kitchen when you’re done baking cookies (unless that’s your mini-project?), they can help you bring a little more awesomeness and mindfulness to the stuff you want to work on.
.I would love to hear back if you try them out! But of course, I will love you no matter what, and not only on Valentine’s Day, my lovely friends, because I believe in you and love you always and everywhere. xo! (Am I a little full of love today? Yes, I am full of love. Let me tell you, making something and giving it away is a hit of happiness for the brain, on any day!)