I was surprised yesterday that none of my eagle-eyed readers spotted that, in spite of my saying that I hadn’t taken any action on the What’s Next List, I had in fact started work on Item 16:
Daily log of a major Column 2 project
The major Column 2 project being the What’s Next List, and the daily log being these Progress Reports.
Today though was the first time that I actually took some action on the task “What’s Next List”. I want to describe how it worked in some detail because the relationship between time management and project management is a difficult one for some people to grasp.
My favourite mantra about project management is:
“”A project should managed to the extent that it needs to be managed, no more and no less.”
So when “What’s Next List” stood out for me today as the next thing to take action on, my first step was to ask myself:
“How much does this project need to be managed - and how?”
My answer was that I would keep the task “What’s Next List” purely for review purposes. In other words, this task consists of nothing but reviewing the project list of 16 items, thinking about the progress made so far and deciding what specific tasks need to be put on the SuperFocus list for action now. Since this is quite a limited definition, the task will normally be finished every time it comes up. Therefore it will be re-entered in Column 1.
As a result of this, I’ve made progress today on revamping the website, drafting the next issue of the newsletter, writing daily tips, and keeping the progress reports going. I’ve also put “Write E-Book Outline” on the SuperFocus list but haven’t yet started work on it. So far the only Column 2 entries resulting from today’s activities are the Newsletter and the Daily Tips.
What I want to draw your attention to is that I’ve structured this project so that a series of tasks flows from a relatively easy and unthreatening review progress. This is precisely the degree of management needed. To overmanage a project of this nature would make the management process itself onerous and prevent the free flow of action. On the other hand, to undermanage it would result in a lack of direction and wasted effort.
The other thing that I want to draw your attention to is that this structure suits this particular project. Other projects will require a greater or lesser degree of management.