In the latest issue of the Productivityist Newsletter (which you can view here), I discussed how I was taking things to the next level. I’m in the midst of making some big changes here at Productivityist, but I’m also in the midst of working on several projects.
And I’m working on them all at once.
Now this may seem counterproductive, but it’s not. I mean, a lot of people work on several projects at once in their lives, and I’m no exception. How I work on them might be the exception, however. I’m definitely someone who likes to have a lot of irons in the fire, but I’ve gotten much better at knowing what ones to work on and at what time.
And here are the two things I do to make that happen.
1. I set aside one day per week per project.
I work on no more than three big projects at once, and all of them have a varying degree of depth and difficulty. I do not work on projects on my Daddy Duty days (Tuesdays and Wednesdays), and I don’t work on them on Saturdays. Here’s how I lay out my week so that I can move things forward on each project:
- Monday: Online Courses
- Thursday: Do Better With Asana
- Friday: The Next Book
- Sunday: Do Better With Asana
I’m currently devoting two days per week to the collaborative effort I’m working on with Jeremy Roberts of Cloud Productivity, Do Better With Asana, because it is the next product that I want to put out there. In fact, we’ve been working on it since mid-April, and we’re shooting for a release date sometime in June. Once it’s released, I’ll either add a new project to the mix or move some of the other big projects into the slots previously occupied by Do Better With Asana.
2. I finish a big project before I move on to another — no matter what.
I’ve learned over the years that I eventually — and ultimately — feel worse if I don’t finish a big project I’m working on. Now keep in mind that “finishing” doesn’t always mean shipping it. Sometimes I’ve looked at a project I’ve been working on and realize it’s not going anywhere, or that the zeal I had for it has gone away completely. That’s when I need to make one of two choices:
- Power through and get it done.
- Cut my losses and let it go.
I’ve done my share of choosing either option, and I’ve actually found more success when I let go of projects that no longer appeal to me than power through and finish them off. In fact, there have been occasions when projects I’ve cast aside come back in some other way, shape, or form, and have benefited from any of the previous progress I’ve made on them in their “past lives.”
I believe it’s more important to get more of the right things done than simply getting more things done. That’s why projects that have lost their shine get replaced by ones that have staying power, and that’s why those ones that have staying power are done better. They get the focus and attention they deserve, and it shows in the results.
Keep in mind that I have other projects that are much smaller in scope that I work on in tandem with these bigger projects. The Productivityist website redesign, the writing of blog posts for Productivityist and other sites, and other smaller projects that are either ongoing (blog posts) or don’t require as much of my attention as others (the Productivityist website redesign).
But if it’s a big project, it gets top billing. And if it’s a big project, it only shares real estate in my schedule with two other big projects. Case closed.