It’s so easy to talk about having big goals and vision for your business, but oftentimes, a lot of us fall short when it comes to the execution. For a lot of people, knowing how to execute is really hard especially if you don’t know how to effectively plan in the first place.
It’s like they say, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
That’s why it’s so important that you are energetically aligning yourself and at the same time, you’re also taking the actionable steps to support the big goals and dreams that you have.
And in order to be able to take those actionable steps, you need to know what those steps look like, how you are going to hit them, and how you are going to move forward towards your goals.
Here’s a six-step project management process to set yourself up for success and help you actually hit your goals.
The first thing you need to do is to know what it is that you’re moving towards. If you don’t have the goal, then it’s very hard to plan around it.
You may be launching a new offer or systemizing a process in your business, whatever it is that you’re working towards, visualise it, feel into it, and see it as already being done.
Once you know what it is you want to achieve, you can then start figuring out how to move through all of the moving pieces.
Now that you have a clear vision of your end goal, you can start to think about all of the things that you need to do in order to make your goal a reality. Break down all of the necessary steps that you need to take.
If there are too many things that need to be done or there are some things that need a specific specialty that you don’t have, get a new team member on board and delegate. It doesn’t have to be a one-man team all throughout and you’ll achieve more when you outsource tasks that aren’t your zone-of-genius. Remember: WHO not HOW is always going to get you further ahead.
After listing down all of the things that need to be done, the next thing to do is outline the steps and prioritise. You need to know what needs to come first so that the next pieces can build on top of it.
And you don’t really need to overthink it. Just make sure everything is in a logical order. Something that helps me here is “zooming out”: instead of getting lost in the list, look at it from a birds-eye view to think about the logical order things need to happen in order for it all to come together.
This is CRITICAL to the success of your plan. You want to set a timeframe around how much time each of the steps are actually going to take you to do. And you have to be really honest with yourself here because this is where so many people usually set themselves up to fail.
Sometimes, in wanting to finish things faster we would allocate a day for something that would realistically take 3 days or even a week to finish. It’s like you’re intentionally putting unnecessary pressure on yourself.
And I’m not saying putting pressure on yourself is bad. Self-imposed pressure is healthy to a certain point. But when you push yourself to complete a project within a week which would normally take a month, then you’re just basically sabotaging yourself.
That’s why it’s so important to properly assess how long something is going to take. If you’ve got a deadline that you need to meet and you’re really pushed for time, this should help you decide if you need to add new members to your team.
BONUS TIP: Give yourself a BUFFER! Ideally, about 30% extra time to take into account changes or speedbumps along the way. So if you think you can achieve something in 10 days, add a 3-4 day buffer on the “goal end date” to make sure you have room to ACTUALLY get it done.
Knowing how long each step of your project is going to take is one thing. How it’s going to play out against your schedule is another.
There may be other things in your business that you’re also spending time on. Let’s say you’re currently doing strategy sessions with potential clients while working on a new product at the same time. Or you’re recording podcast episodes and doing interviews on other shows as well. You need to consider other moving pieces in your business that also need your attention.
Make sure you’re aware of what your day and week looks like. My favourite tool for this is Google Calendar, where I timeblock my days and weeks, and know what each day is dedicated to in my business. I also know the timeblocks I have in place for recurring tasks, and the time I have available for working on my business development.
So if your 10 day task requires 10 full days, but you actually only have 10 half days to give to it due to other commitments in your business – your timeframe should actually be 20 days, not 10.
Lastly, and most importantly, keep track of your progress. Make sure that you are reviewing and adjusting weekly in order to stay on track. Your beautiful, well-crafted plan would just go to waste if you’re not really sticking to it. So it’s absolutely important that you set some time to do a quick assessment of your progress on a consistent basis.
The key to an effective project management plan is honesty. You just really need to be honest with yourself in terms of what you’re capable of and the time you have to do it. There’s no shame in asking for help or delegating when necessary. The focus should be on reaching that goal that you set out to achieve, and with a little project management in place, I have no doubt you will!
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