There is one concept that is repeatedly promised as the secret to running the most successful, fulfilling business through countless courses, coaches and entrepreneurs: “Time Management”. Every time I see this included in a course or coaching program, my heart sinks because I know that those signing up are not going to receive the kinds of principles that will allow for the kind of transformation they are looking for.
There is actually no possible way humans can manage time, and I feel compelled that we put a cap on that as artists and business owners once and for all.
I’ve spent the last ten years working with some of the most successful entrepreneurs and artists, and I’ve seen firsthand that those who run their businesses with the most grace and ease are those who do not try to manage their time. Instead, they manage their projects.
Project management is what we truly have control over in both our lives and in the work we create in the world. The difference between trying to manage our time and managing our projects is staggering in terms of the outcome, as well as the quality of life we have the opportunity to experience as a result.
The secret lies in your clarity of purpose and knowing how to prioritize your most important projects in order to take yourself and your work to the next level of development. When you are clear about what you need to do for your work and to grow your business, your “to do” list changes from trying to fit as many tasks into one day as possible to creating the space you need to only focus on the most important, high-priority activities that will allow you to create the results you want to see, without wasting any time.
This is a sophisticated and elegant technique that, when practiced consistently, yields bigger results than any other approach you can take in your life and business. I have personally watched several entrepreneurs double their annual revenue in less than a year using this approach. I have also seen countless artists achieve similar results. After realizing what they all did, I did the same for myself, and I want you to be able to do the same as well.
There are many aspects to managing projects that, like a well-oiled machine, need to be developed over time. But once you start, you create a foundation you can build upon that can bring you the kind of certainty and control you most desire over the work you put out into the world.
As always, the best place to begin is right now!
Here is a simple three-step process to help you begin managing your projects, in this moment:
1. Identify Your Top 10
Make a list of your 10 most important projects you feel you need to be working on right now to help your business and/or work as an artist grow.
2. Two Weeks For Your Top 3
From this list, circle the three that you know are going to be the most important in helping you move to your next level of development for your business and/or your work. Set these are your top priority for the next two weeks. Plan to focus solely on getting these three projects completed in the next two weeks by making them your top priority each day. Break them down into daily activities and list the activities in your calendar. Everything else that needs to get done plan to do in order to create the space you need to focus on these three projects each day. If you complete them before the two weeks are over, go back to your list, circle your next three and begin the same process again with these.
3. Create Units Of Time
Divide your day into units of time that you need to devote to each activity for your top three projects. Instead of making a to do list and trying to manage your time that way each day, look at how much time you need to devote for each of your top three activities and then look at how much time you have left for everything else. You will quickly see how many activities you will want to delete from your to do list that are not truly important to the work you need to focus on. Only do what you absolutely need to do in order to give all your attention to your top three projects.
This is a powerful and exciting exercise to pursue in every area of your life, and the sooner you start the sooner you will have the chance to take a leap in the direction you know you want to move.
So let’s start now! There is no better time than the present to begin, as this way of approaching your time is transformational in every way, but you won’t know what incredible results you can achieve until you test it yourself.
Share your top three in the comments below! I can’t wait to see what you have in store for your work and your business, right now!