To the driven business owners and CEOs of the world: Are you onboarding more projects than you can handle? Are you chasing after that new shiny thing to boost your business? You have project FOMO! When you read until the end you will understand how concentrating on fewer projects (#DoLessBetter!) will actually allow your business to reap the benefits of its projects faster.
Chasing after shiny objects has become a popular illness driven entrepreneurs fall prey and boast about. It gives you a kind of a dopamine shot to be the one using the latest gadget and technique. And believe me, I’ve been there. But, is being at the edge of tech and taking on project after project really the way to success in business?
I doubt it. In this article I will prove that this is a broken concept and that entrepreneurs and business-owners have to be strategic instead of opportunistic to be successful when it comes to the projects they take on.
Why we fall prey to project FOMO
FOMO is the Fear Of Missing Out. In today’s world we pride ourselves to live faster and faster. The same seems true for business. If you are not riding the latest wave, you are out. True? That’s why we are all so Agile, changing our ways, opinions and approaches from day to day. Nothing is as outdated as the task list we defined yesterday. And we all get sucked into this tornado of new stuff.
Now, this will piss off a lot of people, but I say, stop it. STOP IT! And instead follow my #DoLessBetter approach. And I will prove you, why you should.
How project FOMO slows us down instead of speeding us up
There is a myriad of ways project FOMO will slow your business down.
People need predictability. They tend to resist change, because parts of the brain consider predictability as necessary for survival, that’s safety. That’s why it is so damn hard for people to change their behaviour.
If you step in front of your team with a new direction and a new list of urgent tasks every other day, this will deeply confuse them. They will spend a lot of time trying to re-organise themselves and get their head around the new direction you want them to adopt.
Time that is lost for being productive.
And don’t forget your poor project managers. We are NOT multi-tasking. We can concentrate on one project at once only. Demanding your project managers to handle multiple projects at the same time will overwhelm and stress them, which does NOT improve their performance on the long run.
Projects cost money, that’s a given. Only a terminated project will bring you benefit. In order to reap rewards, you need to finish projects. So, if you overload your team with projects and you do not finish them you never make any money or never create any impact, if you are not after the money. It is as simple as that.
The Benefits Paradox
Now even if you finish projects, I have an interesting graph for you which shows you that the best path for you is doing even less projects at a time and finish them faster, if you are after quickly generating income or impact.
Let’s say you have 3 possible projects for your team to work on. Either you can do one project at a time for one month or you can tackle all 3 at the same time, which would take 3 months. As soon as a project is finished it gives you a financial advantage of 10 k Euro per month.
In the following graph you see, what I call the benefits paradox.
3 projects at the same time
1 project at a time
I know, this is a simplified view, as things also depend on the teams available and you cannot speed up projects by simply adding resources or money. But I hope you get the point, focusing on less projects and finishing them faster means bigger rewards earlier than trying to push more projects through.
Becoming strategic instead of opportunistic
The solution is simple, but not easy. Why? You need to let go of your old behaviour of taking on new projects as shiny things come your way, which is called opportunistic. And you need to become more strategic when it comes to choosing the projects you want to take on.
What does strategic mean?
Strategic means developing a long-term vision for your company. Where do you want to be in 2, 3 or 5 years from now? Then from there you can develop your shorter-term goals for the next 6-month, 1 year or 2 years.
Now it gets really easy, because whenever you feel the need to take on a new project, you check the project against your goals and how it would fit in. If it does fit in, great. If it does not fit in, dump the idea.
This is what I mean with #DoLessBetter, in this case do less projects and concentrate on those projects with the most benefit or impact for your business. In order to make things easy for you I have created a workbook to walk you through the onboarding process for new projects. Download the workbook now.
The Benefits Paradox demonstrated: Focusing on less projects and finishing them faster means bigger rewards earlier. #DoLessBetter, in this case do less projects and concentrate on those projects with the most benefit or impact for your business.
It is vital that you understand the impact of allowing project FOMO to creep into your business. But reading an article, watching a video or listening to a podcast is completely useless, until you take action on the things that you have found useful, so TAKE ACTION! Download the workbook and start right away.
I am curious to read, how you deal with project FOMO and what are your strategies to really focus on the important projects. 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! I will be glad to help and as you already know I answer all questions.