Last week I asked what your burning questions around project management and productivity are. Thanks for all of the thoughtful comments. I gleaned a few themes from them, which seem to be:
What to focus on, how to get a handle on ‘the big picture’ and how to do it all. Let’s tackle the first one: what to focus on.
I’ll take an example from my own business. My primary goal for 2011 is to sell 500 wedding kits. One of the projects I determined would help me reach that goal was to sell my work on more marketplaces: my own e-commerce site for the European market, a Dawanda store in two languages and Wedzu, a marketplace for indie wedding products.
I set up all of these new marketplaces (no small feat), and loaded them with product listings for my invitations. Great. The new stores worked, and I had a sense of accomplishment.
In the meantime, it also occurred to me that I need to broaden my product catalog, so I started working on a lot of new designs. Then we went on vacation. Then a friend visited. For a good four weeks I was doing the bare minimum, working in my business, but not on it.
When I sat down to review my goals last week, there it was in black and white: Sell 500 invitation kits. What had I done in the last month to make that happen? I had lots of new designs to develop into full suites, I had the new store platforms ready, but on most of them I hadn’t uploaded product listings for many of my kits!
It’s hard to move products that aren’t on the shelves.
The lesson here: Review your goals often, and focus like a laser on the things that will help you meet those goals. Get good at saying no, to yourself and others. Stick with the work you committed to meet your goals, even when it gets boring. Put all your new exciting ideas that do not directly contribute to achieving your goals in a ‘maybe later’ file. Do not pass ‘Go’, do not collect $200 dollars, until you finish the work that will blow your objective out of the water.