Constraints are an amazing gift that you should give yourself.

Whether you are just starting a project or entering a new project phase, you should focus on setting out constraints that will limit how you deliver results. A common pitfall is to start your project work, thinking that you will be able to please everyone and do everything. You are much better starting out understanding that there will be a limit to who you will be able to satisfy, and what you will be able to accomplish. When you understand the limitations of your ability to make a change, you are suddenly freed to be extremely creative.

If you start out thinking that you will be able to do everything for everyone and deliver all of the capabilities that you want, you don’t have to be creative. With an unlimited change on the horizon, it also feels like you have all of the time in the world and a bottomless budget. Who wouldn’t want to wait for the changes you are making, and pay for the amazing products that you will deliver?

What you should do is choose an extreme limit. What could you deliver if you had a limited budget and timeline? What if you only had a month to make the change that you are looking to make? What if you limited your 3-year project to 1 year?

Once you have constraints, you will become extremely creative in how you are going to solve the problem. You will find ways to solve problems that you never thought were possible before. As soon as you deliver your constrained project, you will gain an immediate benefit, and then you will be able to deliver the next project in the same constrained way.

Constraints will lead you to a place of creativity and immediate benefit. Take advantage of the chance to impose constraints on your project today.