Welcome to the Balancing Business Series! This four-part series is focused completely on how to get that manageable work-life balance. Within this series, we established the most important steps to finding time to grow your business, as well as how to get focused and work done when you sit down to work. The next component of managing work-life balance is in regards to projects. Specifically, how to manage your projects in order to grow your business.
Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast
How to Manage Your Projects Within Your Business
Even after you get all your tasks organized, you will still wonder if the work you just put down and organized is actually the work you should be doing. That is why today we are tackling the elephant in the room. We will be working through how to manage your projects effectively. Knowing what tasks are most important is what is going to move the needle forward in your business. How to not be overwhelmed by all of the tasks and things to do will take you to the next level. To have that clarity and move forward takes 2 really important things.
Two Things You Need In Your Business To Be Able to Manage Your Projects
The two things you need to move the needle forward in your business and manage your project correctly are strategy and organization. One of the biggest pieces of my strategy and how I’ve been able to grow is organization. It is a huge piece of strategy. You can have incredible business coaches, but if you are not organized, you’ll never be able to implement anything.
That is why we are diving into this topic of effectively managing your projects. I don’t want you to be wasting all of your time. You should feel good about your time doing tasks that bring in consistent income. I know that if you can dial this in and get super consistent, you will make money and grow that potential far more than you ever knew was possible.
#1 – Strategy – How Do You Make Progress on Projects Without Being Overwhelmed?
The first step in managing your projects is developing a strategy. How do you progress on projects without being overwhelmed by long to-do lists? We all have them, those lists that make us feel afraid and completely uncertain about what we are doing in the first place. There are 4 main steps to this strategy to help you not be afraid and get these projects completed.
1. Do You Know What a Project Is Versus a Task?
How do you know the difference between a task on your list and a project?
Tasks are things you need to do in your business every day, week, and month – those are your DWM’s (Daily, Weekly, Monthly) tasks. Those are tasks, and they all should be automated. This means that you shouldn’t have to think about them at all. They should be off of your to-do list, and you should have them in one key place.
A project is something that you will not do again after you have done it one time. It is a project. It has a start date and an end date. You are building, implementing, and creating something, and then you never do it again. You might fix, adapt, and maintain this item, but the actual project of you putting something into place will not happen again.
2. Determine Which Projects Align With Your Vision
You have to be able to know which projects are actually aligned with your vision. There is no point going out there and implementing projects that are not actually going to help you grow.
3. Arrange Your Projects on a Timeline
Arrange your projects on a timeline with due dates and all the tasks that you need to do to complete each of them.
4. Add Project Hours Into Your Work Week
The most vital part of this entire process is the one thing everyone always overlooks. You need to add the hours you decided you needed in Step 3 when you arranged your projects on a timeline. You know what needs to be done to complete those projects, but you need to find the right day with those hours set aside to show up and complete it.
Put those hours that you have calculated into your work week. Everyone always forgets about project time in their weekly schedule for their work block. I have mine built in. I have my based hours of my DWMs and then my project hours on top of that.
“You need to put project hours into your work week. Everyone always forgets about project time in their weekly schedule for their work block.”
For the better part of the first year of me running my business, I didn’t figure that out yet, and I was never getting to my projects. The lesson here is always to put project time in your week. If you don’t know how much, start with 2 hours. Look at those projects and figure out how much time you need to complete them and when you want them completed. With some simple math, you can determine how many you can complete in your time frame.
#2 – Organization – How to Effectively Manage Your Projects on a Timeline
Another great way to manage your projects in your business is through arranging your projects on a timeline allows you to make progress and complete projects in your business. In order to do this, you need to ask yourself these 3 questions when choosing your project.
1. What revenue goal does this support?
You are not allowed to do any work ever again that does not support your goals for revenue. Because then it would be a hobby, and what you want to do is make consistent money.
2. How big is the project?
Does it have multiple phases or a bunch of tasks? How long do you think it will take you to get certain tasks done? How involved is this project?
3. How long will it take you to complete the project in its entirety?
I know that we have no idea how to see into the future. It is really hard to estimate how long it will take to finish this project. Just guess. Give yourself a baseline, and you can adjust from there.
One of my first projects was building Systemize Your Life. I remember telling my husband I needed a 6-hour workday to complete this. I underestimated by about 20 hours of work. Although it was stressful, we figured it out. It was the beginning of my stepping into this business and being consistent. There was a lot of change to navigate in this season. Now I know how long it takes to build a course or any of my other projects. But anytime I have something new come up, I have no idea how long it will take me, and I just use my best judgment.
The Importance of Organization in Managing Your Projects
Without this process of being organized, I would have continued the cycle of being absolutely clueless and built my entire business on the notion of “I’m just going to do it and see how long it takes.” I would not have tracked any time or set intentions for completion dates. Then I would have gotten discouraged, which likely would have caused me to give up or step back from my business for a while. I wouldn’t be where I am today. Organization is essential to being able to manage your projects to help grow your business.
That is the magic of this process.
Examples of How To Manage Your Projects on a Timeline
Let’s look at some examples that break down each of those above questions to help you gauge how you can make progress on your projects. Insert the project that you have in your mind as we walk through these examples of project management.
Example 1: Setting up an Etsy shop but do not have a business created yet.
This may seem like 1 task with 1 phase. If you are brand new and setting up your Etsy shop, you’ve got to put together your business paperwork and register the LLC. There are lots of steps that you have to take before the actual shop is set up. Then break it into 2 phases and assign timelines that way. Phase 1, you may give yourself 2 weeks, and phase 2 is one week.
Example 2: Setting up an Etsy shop when you already have a business.
This is a project with one phase that has a few tasks inside of it. You might give yourself 6 hours to complete it.
Example 3: Current Chelsijo.co Transition Plan
We are transitioning from Systemize Your Life Academy to having Systemize Your Biz and Systemize Your Life available. I’ve allowed my entire community to DIY their systems or become a VIP student completely. Those are big transitions for me, my team and the community. It takes a lot of back-end work and time to finish that transition.
I sat down and broke this down into four phases that are happening over the course of two months. I used this exact process to figure out that I would need about 25 hours a week, total over the course of 8 weeks, with my full team, to complete this transition.
It Doesn’t Matter What Size Your Business Is – You Can Still Manage Your Projects Successfully
I used that same process when it was just me. Zero dollars of income with an idea and sitting at a tiny desk. I figured it out and made it much more attainable for myself because it was the only way I knew I could get through it. I refused to do nothing.
You Can Do This!
You can do this no matter what level you are at, and you will build, grow, and adapt. This will become the way that you manage and the way that you work, and grow. Taking your list of things to do and breaking it down through everything we’ve discussed, you have no limits.
Especially if you already have Systemize Your Life and a whole home management system that allows you to manage your home this way. Now you can manage your business in the same way. Put those two together, and you are going places.
Create a Cohesive System to Manage Your Projects
Head over to Systemize Your Biz to learn more about how you can create a cohesive system to manage your projects and your business in just 4 weeks with my systems. We would love to hear your thoughts and see your project timelines. So come join our FREE Facebook community!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there an easy way I can map out and manage my project digitally?
I absolutely love and use MindMeister, to help you digitally map out and keep track of your ideas and projects. I will then add my items from my map into MeisterTask, which is my task management system. In week one of Systemize Your Biz I get into the nitty-gritty of how to use this system to build out your workflows and projects.