Now What?

You’ve finished your huge project, the one that’s kept you up at night for months. It’s all done, wrapped up and delivered. And in the echos of the free time you suddenly now have the question reverberates “Now what?”

All the adrenaline is gone and with it the excitement that was coursing through your veins when you were in the thick of it. Like a deep sea fish that’s been thrust into the open air, it feels bizarre, it feels odd, it feels…sad.

You’re not alone in these feelings. It’s actually common for people to feel a sense of loss after the delivery of a major project. The feeling is similar to postpartum depression – when a mother gives birth to her first child. You’ve worked so long and so hard to deliver this huge masterpiece and now that it’s out in the world, you’re not sure what to do.

Here are a 5 suggestions that might help:

  1. Celebrate! Then veg out: You did it! You’re amazing! Now binge-watch that show on Netflix you’ve wanted to for the past six months! Do whatever it takes to turn yourself OFF and REST for a while. You need to recharge your batteries. You have my permission to be a slug.
  2. Feel the emotion: Don’t ignore it or brush it off. Allow yourself the time and space to experience it so you can get rid of it. Talk to people if you need to. Take care of yourself.
  3. Seek inspiration: Once you’ve had a chance to rest, go out and ‘refill your laser banks’ by experiencing whatever inspires you. Nature, a museum, a concert, a play, a party, whatever gets your creative juices flowing.
  4. Evaluate your project: Take a look back on what you’ve just accomplished and analyze it. What have you learned, what are you going to use for next time, what are you going to make sure you never do again?
  5. “What’s Next?”: After you’ve been through all the things listed here, then you’re probably ready to plan another project. But don’t rush it! Take your time to ‘heal’ from one project to the next, or you’ll get burned out for sure.

It’s easy to feel a little bit of remorse when your big project has come to its end. The two most important things to remember are to give yourself time to celebrate (yay!) and rest (zzz). That way your mind is ready for the next big thing!

Have you ever felt lost and adrift after completing a project? What did you do to move past that feeling?

Ref: Now You’re Done: Post-project depression – Transitioning Your Life

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