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I'm managing a lot of projects - How do you do it?

Anything related to matters of the mind

DelteQ

New Contributor
Jan 10, 2021
11
18
Long time lurker here.... so thought it was about time I got involved in this great community!

I thought I would describe my situation as I have had many opportunities land on my lap over the last few months and wanted to hear feedback from others on how they manage spinning multiple plates.

A background of the last year; (I'll keep it purposefully brief, it's been a busy year!)

- Decided to leave my Electrical contracting business of 4 years to pursue a career with more freedom and the ability to work remotely. I completed some evening courses in Web Dev & Product management. Landed a contract in May building a Job Management app for the Farrier industry. I was 1 of 2 product/ project managers but also have taken care of the start-ups Web design, branding, process design and general company set up. I've loved it, but I would rather not have to deal with the constant zoom meetings anymore.

- I have taken on a few web design clients on the side, producing simple websites in Webflow. I really enjoy doing this and could see me building a business in this field... eventually using it to upsell my other skills in consulting, automation etc etc. Seriously considering enrolling in @Fox 's program to follow a proven roadmap and make this happen.

- I've had a wealthy client ask me to join the board of directors for a music festival, as he believes I could really help get his vision off the ground. I love my music, so happily obliged.

- On top of this, I am supporting my families business that buys and sells parts for a variety of manufacturing industries; mainly automative, marine and MOD. Since COVID, the company has lost some members of staff and needs some fresh motivation. I've stepped in to take care of the IT & Marketing but also set up new software and automation so eventually it can be a remote business that just has a warehouse premises and minimal staff.

__________________

Even typing that made me exhausted, but here's the thing......... I WANT to do it all.

I will probably not take on another product management contract, I enjoyed building the app but it takes up a lot of time in the day to support a project like this. I'd much rather build websites and produce content to boost my freelance contracting and treat this as my main income.
I'm a family man and would hate to see a business my father started struggle, so will continue to support this. It may take 2-3hrs of commitment a day, max.
The festival stuff, just sounds great and would be awesome to be part of a big festival in my local area, don't want to turn that down.

All in all, my ideal situation would be:

- Web Design & Consulting taking up 70% of my working week
- Family business support; 20%
- Festival 10% (having a meeting or two - will get busier closer to launch)

_____________________

Im curious to how others in this forum manage multiple projects?

I know there's a lot to be said for focusing on one lane and just sticking at it, but sometimes a lot of opportunity comes your way and you try to do it all..... it works for some people. Has it worked for anyone on here?

Thanks for reading, looking forward to getting involved in the forum.

Dan .
 
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Practic

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Nov 29, 2022
286
142
Long time lurker here.... so thought it was about time I got involved in this great community!

I thought I would describe my situation as I have had many opportunities land on my lap over the last few months and wanted to hear feedback from others on how they manage spinning multiple plates.

A background of the last year; (I'll keep it purposefully brief, it's been a busy year!)

- Decided to leave my Electrical contracting business of 4 years to pursue a career with more freedom and the ability to work remotely. I completed some evening courses in Web Dev & Product management. Landed a contract in May building a Job Management app for the Farrier industry. I was 1 of 2 product/ project managers but also have taken care of the start-ups Web design, branding, process design and general company set up. I've loved it, but I would rather not have to deal with the constant zoom meetings anymore.

- I have taken on a few web design clients on the side, producing simple websites in Webflow. I really enjoy doing this and could see me building a business in this field... eventually using it to upsell my other skills in consulting, automation etc etc. Seriously considering enrolling in @Fox 's program to follow a proven roadmap and make this happen.

- I've had a wealthy client ask me to join the board of directors for a music festival, as he believes I could really help get his vision off the ground. I love my music, so happily obliged.

- On top of this, I am supporting my families business that buys and sells parts for a variety of manufacturing industries; mainly automative, marine and MOD. Since COVID, the company has lost some members of staff and needs some fresh motivation. I've stepped in to take care of the IT & Marketing but also set up new software and automation so eventually it can be a remote business that just has a warehouse premises and minimal staff.

__________________

Even typing that made me exhausted, but here's the thing......... I WANT to do it all.

I will probably not take on another product management contract, I enjoyed building the app but it takes up a lot of time in the day to support a project like this. I'd much rather build websites and produce content to boost my freelance contracting and treat this as my main income.
I'm a family man and would hate to see a business my father started struggle, so will continue to support this. It may take 2-3hrs of commitment a day, max.
The festival stuff, just sounds great and would be awesome to be part of a big festival in my local area, don't want to turn that down.

All in all, my ideal situation would be:

- Web Design & Consulting taking up 70% of my working week
- Family business support; 20%
- Festival 10% (having a meeting or two - will get busier closer to launch)

_____________________

Im curious to how others in this forum manage multiple projects?

I know there's a lot to be said for focusing on one lane and just sticking at it, but sometimes a lot of opportunity comes your way and you try to do it all..... it works for some people. Has it worked for anyone on here?

Thanks for reading, looking forward to getting involved in the forum.

Dan .
"Im curious to how others in this forum manage multiple projects?"

Do what you like and enjoy and outsource all other tasks to other experts.
 

Andy Black

Help people. Get paid. Help more people.
Staff member
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
15,820
58,276
Ireland
Long time lurker here.... so thought it was about time I got involved in this great community!

I thought I would describe my situation as I have had many opportunities land on my lap over the last few months and wanted to hear feedback from others on how they manage spinning multiple plates.

A background of the last year; (I'll keep it purposefully brief, it's been a busy year!)

- Decided to leave my Electrical contracting business of 4 years to pursue a career with more freedom and the ability to work remotely. I completed some evening courses in Web Dev & Product management. Landed a contract in May building a Job Management app for the Farrier industry. I was 1 of 2 product/ project managers but also have taken care of the start-ups Web design, branding, process design and general company set up. I've loved it, but I would rather not have to deal with the constant zoom meetings anymore.

- I have taken on a few web design clients on the side, producing simple websites in Webflow. I really enjoy doing this and could see me building a business in this field... eventually using it to upsell my other skills in consulting, automation etc etc. Seriously considering enrolling in @Fox 's program to follow a proven roadmap and make this happen.

- I've had a wealthy client ask me to join the board of directors for a music festival, as he believes I could really help get his vision off the ground. I love my music, so happily obliged.

- On top of this, I am supporting my families business that buys and sells parts for a variety of manufacturing industries; mainly automative, marine and MOD. Since COVID, the company has lost some members of staff and needs some fresh motivation. I've stepped in to take care of the IT & Marketing but also set up new software and automation so eventually it can be a remote business that just has a warehouse premises and minimal staff.

__________________

Even typing that made me exhausted, but here's the thing......... I WANT to do it all.

I will probably not take on another product management contract, I enjoyed building the app but it takes up a lot of time in the day to support a project like this. I'd much rather build websites and produce content to boost my freelance contracting and treat this as my main income.
I'm a family man and would hate to see a business my father started struggle, so will continue to support this. It may take 2-3hrs of commitment a day, max.
The festival stuff, just sounds great and would be awesome to be part of a big festival in my local area, don't want to turn that down.

All in all, my ideal situation would be:

- Web Design & Consulting taking up 70% of my working week
- Family business support; 20%
- Festival 10% (having a meeting or two - will get busier closer to launch)

_____________________

Im curious to how others in this forum manage multiple projects?

I know there's a lot to be said for focusing on one lane and just sticking at it, but sometimes a lot of opportunity comes your way and you try to do it all..... it works for some people. Has it worked for anyone on here?

Thanks for reading, looking forward to getting involved in the forum.

Dan .
I have multiple clients but provide the same service to all of them. I think even that's not focused enough, and am moving to focus on 2-3 niches tops.

I sell a few courses but only half-heartedly. That's more a hobby as I feel it's a distraction.

I like the lines:

"Say Yes to start. Say No to scale."

"One avatar, one channel, one product."

"The plane takes off when you remove weight, not when you add it."

Is your business where you want it to be? If not, then maybe you're spread too thin?
 

DelteQ

New Contributor
Jan 10, 2021
11
18
"Im curious to how others in this forum manage multiple projects?"

Do what you like and enjoy and outsource all other tasks to other experts.
Yeah, this seems like a sensible approach.

You will always be more effective doing the things that enjoy.
 
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DelteQ

New Contributor
Jan 10, 2021
11
18
I have multiple clients but provide the same service to all of them. I think even that's not focused enough, and am moving to focus on 2-3 niches tops.

I sell a few courses but only half-heartedly. That's more a hobby as I feel it's a distraction.

I like the lines:

"Say Yes to start. Say No to scale."

"One avatar, one channel, one product."

"The plane takes off when you remove weight, not when you add it."

Is your business where you want it to be? If not, then maybe you're spread too thin?
As you can imagine, this approach to business has crossed my mind many times. With many opportunities landing on my lap and considering; "am I committing to too much?"

My gut feeling is to push the web work and aim in that direction, staying in my lane.

But, as stated above, I still WANT to help the other projects in some capacity. So, blocking out a few hours a week to consult and advise doesn't sound so bad on paper. I know a fair few successful guys who spin a hell of a lot of plates on a daily basis and make it work (I don't strive to be that busy, but I like the idea of keeping a few doors open).

But your final point does make me think. No, my business is not where I want it to be.... all of these projects are in the junior stage and not exactly providing me the income I desire. Could they all together? Yes... Could just one thing provide the same outcome? Maybe, if I worked hard enough at it.
 

Andy Black

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May 20, 2014
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Eudaimonium

Bronze Contributor
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Speedway Pass
Jun 8, 2017
314
420
EU
It's a good problem to have, but it is still a problem. You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything. I'd drop one project, and maximize your time through automation and delegation. Get an apprentice/employee/family member to do basic tasks that will free up your time. You must keep good time managment and organization through a schedule/system of some kind. Consider that we humans are designed to work in sprints, thus rather than working on multiple projects daily, consider splitting your week or month into different segments of focus.
 
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Andy Black

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Opportunities are problems in disguise.

For us entrepreneurial types, opportunities appear to be everywhere. I see them as tests of whether we're committed to our chosen path - like sirens trying to lure us off course.

I used to have a little Trello board called "Biz Ideas On Hold". It's where I used to park ideas so they didn't keep trying to distract me. Maybe something similar may help you?

I don't need to park business ideas anywhere now. I get satisfaction in letting new opportunities go to those who'll give it 100%.
 

DelteQ

New Contributor
Jan 10, 2021
11
18
This looks great, thanks I will take a listen.
Opportunities are problems in disguise.

For us entrepreneurial types, opportunities appear to be everywhere. I see them as tests of whether we're committed to our chosen path - like sirens trying to lure us off course.

I used to have a little Trello board called "Biz Ideas On Hold". It's where I used to park ideas so they didn't keep trying to distract me. Maybe something similar may help you?

I don't need to park business ideas anywhere now. I get satisfaction in letting new opportunities go to those who'll give it 100%.
Thats a really good idea, I use todoist religiously. Could park all the ideas and potential opportunities in a project there, just like you do with Trello.

Very much like the GTD method, where you use an inbox to get the tasks out of your head and then filter them into priorities.
 

DelteQ

New Contributor
Jan 10, 2021
11
18
It's a good problem to have, but it is still a problem. You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything. I'd drop one project, and maximize your time through automation and delegation. Get an apprentice/employee/family member to do basic tasks that will free up your time. You must keep good time managment and organization through a schedule/system of some kind. Consider that we humans are designed to work in sprints, thus rather than working on multiple projects daily, consider splitting your week or month into different segments of focus.
Funnily enough, I've had a very long phone call this evening regarding the family business.

It's got the potential, if I wanted. To earn me 100k a year and also is much easier than other freelancing work to delegate and automate. Its a simple buy/ sell business really and the margins on each product are good (40-50%), sometimes much better than that even.

I could put systems in place to work remotely with this too. The only physical premises it needs is a warehouse location and stores person. The warehouse is already there, the dispatch is done by a family member currently.

The business is essentially allready there, just needs improving.
______

Also, whole heartedly agree with the idea that we work best in 'sprints'. I'd much rather be able to focus on one thing for an extended period of time.
 
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Andy Black

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Very much like the GTD method, where you use an inbox to get the tasks out of your head and then filter them into priorities.
I don't know the GTD method but I put tasks into my calendar for when I want to do it.

Before they get into my calendar they go through this filtering process though:
  • Dump it? (Can we get away with not doing it at all?)
  • Delegate it? (Can someone else do it?)
  • Defer it? (Can it be done later?)
  • Do it.
 

BizyDad

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Im curious to how others in this forum manage multiple projects?

1. Partnerships and 2. synergy and 3. wait till later.

1. I used to try to do everything myself. I've given up on that. Now whenever I'm taking on a new project, I want at least one partner on it. This way if I'm overwhelmed with one of my projects, I can ask for help from someone else to cover for me. There's a whole lot more to finding the right partner, defining the roles, etc, but you get the idea - Don't be a one-man band.

2. I try to take on projects that will enhance or at least not detract from my other projects. For example, I run a search engine marketing firm, and earlier this year we launched a content website to generate cash. Also earlier this year I purchased a client's business. The types of activities to make these things go and keep them going fit in line with my main project, which is running my firm.

3. If there's something that I really really want to do, but it requires me to be a one-man band, or it doesn't synergize easily with my current projects, I write it down and/or save it for later. If it's the kind of thing that somebody brought an opportunity to me, I'll tell them I can't help right now, it's not that I'm not interested, it's that I'm too busy. Can we revisit in 6 months, or a year?

If I am serious about committing to doing that project, then in that time, I will either hire someone to take something off my plate or otherwise position my responsibilities within my current projects to allow for my additional time requirement to take on that new project.

But if it turns out I'm not serious or otherwise unable to commit, then if they come back around, I will flat out tell them that I had the best intentions but I have to bow out.

Hope that helps.
 

Spenny

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Absolute gold. Thank you for this, I'll be taking on this advice!
 
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AmazingLarry

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Opportunities are problems in disguise.

For us entrepreneurial types, opportunities appear to be everywhere. I see them as tests of whether we're committed to our chosen path - like sirens trying to lure us off course.

I used to have a little Trello board called "Biz Ideas On Hold". It's where I used to park ideas so they didn't keep trying to distract me. Maybe something similar may help you?

I don't need to park business ideas anywhere now. I get satisfaction in letting new opportunities go to those who'll give it 100%.
Love this. I do something similar where I keep a running note of any business idea that pops into my head, even if it seems ridiculous.

It helps make a habit of exercising the creative muscle and let's you put it out of your mind. It'll be there when you go back to look at some point.

The problem for me is the commitment to my chosen path wavers often, and I think about how this idea or that idea has more potential, or how I may have rushed into the current endeavor without enough consideration. How do you tell whether these thoughts are valid or just shiny object syndrome? This seems to be something that many others struggle with too, so maybe it's just one of those things that comes with the territory and you have to grow and learn as you grow through it.
 

Johnny boy

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Lots of ways.

1. Delegate
2. Lower expectations of perfection so you can let people get shit done and it's okay when it screws up because you weren't micromanaging (can't micromanage and scale at the same time anyways)
3. Shave off features to streamline and only focus on the essential.
4. 80-20 the shit out of everything. Dump one of the ideas, dump 20% of customers and employees, dump 20% of features/products/services. Dump 20% of things taking up most of your time. Let 20% of customers leave and keep the profitable ones. Etc.
5. Use some productivity hacks and systems. I use notion. We have a great CRM. Use automations.
6. Work more.
7. You need a good girl at home to make your life easy. A good girl is like an assistant from heaven.
8. Create a routine of things at the beginning and end of your day. Gym 630am, MMA 6pm. Everything in between is work, so I stay focused.
9. Write things down and record everything. Use to-do lists.
10. Never stop moving, be a shark, they suffocate when they stop moving.
 

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