How to plan a life-changing project in 5 minutes

Sometimes the things we most want seem overwhelming to achieve - like finding work we love, starting our own business, or launching a range of products. The Screw Work Let's Play solution is the Play Project.

Use Play Projects to try out a possible new work direction or business idea and start it right away - without quitting your job and without spending a fortune. But... one of the things we often find people getting stuck on right at the start is the planning.

I asked Selina Barker, Head Coach at Screw Work Let's Play and 'guru of getting things done', to say a few words on the art of planning...

Plan your projects like a kid

By Selina Barker

How long do you tend to spend planning before starting a play project?

5 hours? 5 days? 5 weeks?

If you've spent more than 5 minutes on planning your play project then YOU'VE SPENT TOO LONG PLANNING.

Why? Because planning is:

a) Boring!
b) Pointless

Over-planning is a killer. It sucks the very life out of a play project. When you laboriously plan and implement like a worker you leave no space for innovation, spontaneity and play.

Think about when you were a kid. When someone said 'right it's play time - you've got an hour', did you spend 55 minutes coming up with the perfect game to play or did you go 'let's do this' and get stuck in?

Players keep plans short and sweet and then jump straight in and start trying things out. Players don't mess up, they mess around. Look at Richard Branson - he's a big fan of making mistakes because he doesn't consider them as mistakes - just trying something out and learning from it if it works and learning from it if it doesn't. That's how you create great stuff.

Times are changing, the old ways of doing things - planning, sticking to the rules etc aren't producing the kind of stuff people want. They want products, services and experiences that feel alive. Innovation, spontaneity is what it's all about these days and that comes from getting into action the moment you have a great idea and creating it as you play it out.

So if you've been spending all your time trying to create the perfect plan to guarantee success, then STOP. Immediately.

Do this instead:


1. Grab a post-it note, postcard or beer mat.

2. Give yourself  2 minutes to write your idea and a 3 bullet point plan on how to make it happen.

3. Choose an action that you can take today to bring your idea to life and start trying it out.

In 5 minutes you will have got further towards making your idea happen than you ever will in 5 days of planning.

Who's Selina?

Selina Barker is our guru of getting things done (and having fun doing it!) Selina was co-founder of Careershifters, is head coach at ScrewWorkLetsPlay.com, and is about to set off on a 6 month road trip adventure living and working from a campervan named Beryl. She lives and breathes life as a player.

Does your idea seems too big to fit into a 30 day play project? Then read this.

Make your idea happen

On 1 May 2012, 200 people from all over the world will creating something they love in 30 days.

Find out more:

The 30 Day Challenge

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  • Yes spot on, we have been trained through all of our education and training to use the left logical brain and get so bogged down in detail. Often then, we cannot see the wood for the trees and the main purpose of the work then gets foggy and data bound. This is so stressful and causes secondary problems for workers feeling demotivated unhappy and ulitmately ill or in need of escaping employment. So lets encourage more play at work!!