At this point in the Whiteboard Business Blueprint, you now know how you want to achieve your objectives. You’ve developed a number of strategies that will guide your thinking and decisions at a lower than you have with your core purpose and vision.
The question now is clear – What will you do, who will do it, and by when will you accomplish these items? It’s time to develop projects to help you achieve your strategies.
I consider a project as anything requiring more than one action step to complete. Scott Belsky of Behance and the Action Method and David Allen of “Getting Things Done” use the concept of a project to look at action items from a higher level than simply working on individual tasks. Action steps are the ground-floor level of activity, and projects are the 10,000-foot level of activity. We need to organize our work in projects so we do not overwhelm ourselves with dozens of action steps.
The following example shows how I distinguish between projects and action steps.
Project – Create marketing plan for Whiteboard Business Partners.
- Action step 1 – Create description of ideal client
- Action step 2 – Create seven-sentence marketing summary
- (Obviously, there are many additional action steps!)
Project – Develop bookkeeping and receipt organizing system
- Action step 1 – Research accounting systems and test for best features
- Action step 2 – Create filing system to organize receipts
You will prioritize your work by projects. Which projects provide the most value for your current work? Once you prioritize your projects, you can then order your action steps and create a daily to-do list.
Too many people create their to-do list without prioritizing their projects. This leads to a lack of focus as one shifts focus from one unrelated task to another. Despite what we tell ourselves, we cannot multi-task. We can switch tasks, but we cannot multi-task with any effectiveness. Organizing our priorities by project allows us to maintain our focus on a specific topic – the project – while changing from one action item to another.
When you organize your work by project and prioritize your actions items based on projects, you will gain more clarity and focus in your work. This will lead to greater productivity and a bigger sense of accomplishment as you work to make your business happen.