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Value Creation Blog

Reduce Your Projects Now!

Posted by Josh Patrick

multiple projectsI know, you’ve been told that you have to have goals and projects to be successful.  As much as I hate to admit it, this is a true statement.  The problem comes in when you start piling projects on top of projects.  While you’re doing this you might forget to look at what your goals are.

Let’s get something straight, more is not always better.  In fact, I find that less is more and less is faster.  You could put together a laundry list of what you want to accomplish.  Instead, why don’t you have a small list of things that will really move the needle in your life?

Less is more.

I know this sounds like it can’t be correct.  Take my word for it, it is.  The simpler you can make your life, the more you’re likely to accomplish.  If you only work on a few things at a time you will probably get a lot more done. 

Look through all of the projects that you have.  See if you can reduce them to no more than five.  I know the other twenty-five or thirty projects you have are important.  Is there anyway you can move them to a someday pile?  If so, you’ll get to them and probably faster than if you try to work on all thirty at once.

Do you want to accomplish more faster?

When I first start working with someone I usually go over their personal management system.  Most of the time the people I work with have none.  It’s also one of the things that seems to be very difficult for people to adopt.  They just like their lists and think it’s important to have lots of things on that list.

If instead you first start with your goals and choose no more than five projects that support those goals you’ll go faster.  Just trust me on this and try this for the next quarter.  Take all of your projects and that you have, choose five of them and only work on those five projects for the quarter.  At the end of the quarter see what you’ve accomplished.  I bet you’ll be happy with the outcome.

Take your complicated projects and simplify them.

Now it’s time to take your five projects and simplify the steps.  The steps have to be identifiable.  If your task for the week is to install a new CRM (client relationship management system) in your company you’ll likely not get that done.  If instead you chunk down this project into several bite sized tasks you’ll move quickly through your list.

Starting with a project usually has several steps.  You don’t need to write all of the steps down at once, you only need to write down the steps you want to work on in the near future.  When you get through those steps, write down some more.  You’ll find that keeping it simple and short will have you feel like your project isn’t overwhelming.

Review your projects weekly.

I do this on Sunday afternoon or evening.  I go through my open projects and either choose or write tasks that I need to do over the next week that will move the ball forward.  I don’t have a need to have the whole project planned out.  I just want to know what the next steps are. 

I find that looking at my open projects weekly allows me to decide whether I need to work on this project and what step I want to take.  You should try this. You might find it makes your week look more manageable.

Have one project always around processes.

This is a hard one.  We tend to want to get stuff done.  Great processes allow you to effectively manage the things in your life.  If you find a way to systematize a process you can then delegate it to someone else.  Your goal in business is to make yourself operationally irrelevant.  If you manage to do this you’ll find that you can concentrate on important issues that aren’t urgent.  That’s where real value is added.

I’ve written a case study on how to become a passive owner in your company.  If you spend time doing projects on process in your business you’ll likely join the ranks of passive owners.  This is where you can choose how you spend your time and where you put your focus.  To get your copy of this special report, click on the button below.


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Topics: concentration, business coaching, value creation

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