The modern day “entrepreneur” may find themselves working on multiple projects at once.
This is something I personally do and personally get asked all the time:
“How do you manage multiple companies/projects at once?”
Well….I wish the answer was simple, but unfortunately, it takes a certain type of person to be able to juggle multiple projects at once. It’s not really something you can teach or learn; however, you can definitely perfect it.
Some people like to focus on purely one thing, but if you’re like me, I’m far more productive when I have multiple things growing and going on. In fact, if I don’t have lots of things going on, I get very restless and bored quickly, which means I’m not working to my ultimate capacity.
I currently manage four online companies including a start-up, and I must admit it can be hard to find time for them all, hence one of the main reasons we recently resigned as directors from Lovecars.
It is however possible, and I’ve become much better with my time from being strict with the following tips to manage multiple projects at once:
Procrastination is one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, problems people have when it comes to juggling multiple projects. Often, when you have so much going on, you can almost get lost elsewhere as a way of easily distracting yourself from what actually needs doing.
Focus is a huge key to getting things done. Ideally, you need to work in your optimum environment (which is different for everyone). For me, that’s in the office but by myself in silence with no other distractions. Whereas my business partner Andy can work in a noisy office or with background sound and music, I HAVE to take myself somewhere quiet to get the most focus on what I’m doing.
I’d also advise focusing on what’s important within your projects first and foremost. If you have something that is holding up the rest of your project, then try and get it done first even if it may be the hardest task, which brings me onto…
Now, everyone who reads my blog will know I worship and live for lists. You can see in this post about how valuable lists are in my everyday business.
If you’re not working to lists, you’re going to struggle to work on multiple projects at once.
One issue with working on multiple projects is there are always lots of things to do and often people keep these things circling in their heads until they either forget them or get them done…eventually.
You need to start listing every single thing down!
You could even have a list per project that you’re working on.
It doesn’t matter how many lists you use, but for me personally, I have several on my desk that I update at least 2-3 times a day. I order my lists from the most important tasks at the top to the least important tasks at the bottom. This way, I know I always have to work from the top however daunting or laborious the task is.
If you complete your hardest task first, you’ll feel a lot better going through the rest of the list as your day progresses.
Read this post and get yourself a “To Do” list now!
If I told you that most of my job is managing different teams, would you believe me? Well, this is a huge key to me getting so much done – delegation.
I delegate everything I can to a team of either in-house or outsourced staff.
For example, everything on the list below I delegate to a team:
- Forum management
- Book keeping
- Video production
and many more…
This is not because I’m lazy, but it’s because I’m efficient and it allows me to hire the best people for every aspect of my business. I’ve even listed things like cleaning and fitness because I have my own personal trainer and cleaner. This is NOT because “I can”, but it’s because it saves me time and still gets me the results I want.
Think about it, I could clean my own house and office and design my own websites, but in the time it would take me to do that, I could have completed 100’s of other important tasks on my lists.
Build different teams around you and find the best in each category that your business utilises, and then delegate these tasks to them as and when you need them to save you time to work on other things.
If you can automate it, do it!
The best way to do this is to look at everything you’re doing in your business on a day-to-day basis and think to yourself “can I automate this” in order to save yourself time.
For example, I used to post each and every day on my sites’ social media accounts, which would take me roughly 30 minutes a day for 7 days a week!
However, I then discovered I could use a tool like FPTraffic or Hootsuite and load in weeks of posts within an hour, saving myself hours of work a week! We live in a world now where new software are popping up every day, which can automate most of the processes we do online.
Whether it’s social media posting or even hiring freelancers, there are software and services out there that can do the leg work for you. As always, you have to weigh up the cost for the service vs your time. However, typically speaking, 9/10 I’d prefer to pay for something if it saves me time and resources and therefore overall pays for itself in the long run.
You can nearly automate anything these days. Work out what you can and get automation setup in your companies to save you time!
Don’t always say YES!
A lesson I’ve learnt the hard way on too many occasions.
There’s obviously a limit to how many project or companies you can work with or manage, and sometimes you just have to be true to yourself and say no when new opportunities arise.
As you can read here, I’ve said yes on multiple occasions when I shouldn’t have, and it’s cost me time and money. Now, I will only say yes to things that I can honestly fit into my plans and schedule, which continues to allow me to manage multiple projects and businesses.
We’ve had multiple offers and opportunities recently to join new companies and start-ups; however, we’ve been very strict in saying no in order to focus on our latest start-up whilst continuing to grow our current businesses.
Don’t say yes to everything and make sure you put your projects first!
What tips do you have for managing multiple projects at once?