In this article you will learn how to actually choose the right projects to work on in your business… and to dump all others.
It seems obvious that we need to concentrate on fewer things and not try to do it all. In my article “Why you Must STOP Juggling with too many Projects Simultaneously” I have discussed what happens when you fall prey to this illness called project FOMO and are on a permanent chase for the next opportunity. Now, let’s dive into how you actually proceed to choose the right projects and dump the rest. And for those who are serious about choosing the projects which will have the biggest impact on your business growth I have prepared a free guide, which takes you through the entire process.
What is your vision and what are your goals?
This sounds like one of these questions from motivational speakers we hear just too often, but it remains nonetheless the keystone of all decisions about which projects to take on and which not.
If you do not have a clear vision and well-defined goals you are like a feather in the wind, going where the winds take you, which will mostly be where other people want to take you. So, if you find developing a vision and goals too cumbersome, first that says a lot about your commitment to be a successful entrepreneur and second, you will end up with what other people sell you to. And frankly speaking, this is not a recipe for success.
If you still struggle with goal setting, here are 2 more resources that you might want to check out:
Now you have your starting point. Once again, Do NOT go through the rest of the process before having a clear vision and goals.
How to process a new project that is coming up?
Now let’s dive into the next questions that you will want to ask yourself before onboarding a new project.
Is this project in line with the Vision and the Goals?
Yep, everything starts there. If the project is not in line with your vision and your goals, you should not do it. It’s as simple as that and it’s not on the Guru that tells you that everybody should write a book (selling you a course on how to do it ;-)) to decide if you will actually take on the project of writing a book.
If it’s not in line with your vision and your goals, then DUMP the project!
Do I have the bandwidth to take this project on?
What does that mean? Ask yourself, do I and/or my team have free time to seriously work on this project and complete it in a reasonable timeframe.
In general, you will need to do a rough evaluation of the number of hours or days needed to complete the project and divide this through the number of weeks or months that you want to use from start to finish.
Once you have this number you can decide if you and your team can shoulder the workload.
One word of warning. DO NOT deceive yourself and underestimate the amount of work you yourself need to spend on this project. Let it be project management, task definition or decision making on which path to take. From my experience more often than not it’s the entrepreneur, business owner or manager who become the bottleneck in the process and make a project fail.
If you have the bandwidth, then go for this project no further questions asked. If you don’t, have a look at the following question.
Do we need to do it now?
Now, if you don’t have the bandwidth, so the question to ask is, is this project so urgent that it has to be taken on right away.
I get it, there are projects that cannot be delayed, fix the unexpected breakdowns of a production line, prepare for an audit of the IRS or whatever state organisation wants to bother you and so on.
If you do not have the choice, then it’s time to have a serious look at all the other projects you do in your business to find out if another project can be either delayed or cancelled.
If there is no real urgency, then I suggest that you put this new project on the backburner until another project is finished and you have the capacity. It’s a good idea to keep a priority list from which you can take new projects as soon as you have more capacity. This is the best way to make sure that the projects on the back burner are not forgotten.
You need to do it right now? Then move to the next question.
Can I cancel another project to take this project on?
If you really want to do this new project now because it will help your business tremendously, well then you have to run all of your ongoing projects through the workbook to find out if you have a foul egg in your project basket that should not be there and can be dumped.
I know this one is not easy, because for many people it’s an ego thing. I chose to start this project, so I have to push through until it’s finished. I do not quit on anything! Right?
I get it. Keeping your self-integrity is important and training yourself that it’s OK to quit is not good. But quitting for a good reason is better than running yourself and your business into the ground. And what if you leave your ego “at the door” and ask yourself very seriously, what does my business need? What would your answer be then?
Why do I ask this question before trying to create more bandwidth? Easy. Read on and figure out.
Can I create more bandwidth?
Creating more bandwidth is often what people try to do in order to avoid the sometimes tough “Cancel” question. But I can assure you, it is not as simple as that, especially if you did not create the structures to make collaboration with freelancers work like a breeze.
Before even considering outsourcing tasks, you need to make sure that you do not become the bottleneck and try to do this project from the corner of your desk. THIS WILL NOT WORK! One major reason for project failure is people trying to manage projects like this.
If you are not available to make major decisions in your projects, and to follow through, nothing else will work. No matter how many freelancers you hire to help you. So, make sure that you will be able to do your part. Once this is clarified you can look on how to add freelancers to your team to make this project feasible.
As you’ve read this article down to this point, you now have a more in depth understanding on how to decide if it is worth to take on a new project. Go and download the guide and start right away. Even if you do not have a new project at hand at the moment it is worth to apply the principles to all the projects you have in your business right now, to make sure that they all are there for a sound reason.
Clean up and trim down your project portfolio and free some time. I think you agree, that as entrepreneurs and business owners we do not work just to spend hours, but to make an impact. So working less by skipping things you should not work on will free you time to recharge your batteries, get some coaching, spend time with your family and friends or do prospecting if you want to spend time in your business. Let’s #DoLessBetter!
I am curious to get your feedback on the 6 questions guide. If you liked this article, please share it on the social media or give us a great comment below. And don’t forget, you can also send me chocolate. 🍫
Now, go below to the comments, ask your questions or let’s start a discussion! As you already know, I answer all questions and comments.