Project Management Pt 5: Putting the Pieces Together

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

This is an ongoing series about managing writing-related projects. In this edition I want to get deeper into analyzing time. The original post is here, part 2 is here,  part 3 is here and part 4 here.

Here are the ideas referenced from the original post:

  • Be very specific: Schedule your time with specificity in order to set your expectations. If you are vague then you will tend toward accomplishing less because you don’t know what you are doing. For example, rather than scheduling thirty minutes several times a day to edit/revise a project with the stated goal of “edit”, be more precise and name what you will edit, how much for the day and how you will accomplish this goal. In other words, thirty minutes of editing several times a day to reach a minimum goal of ten pages in your novel project until you reach your allotted time for the day (remember, you have allotted time to other duties such as social media management). This gives you focus. Since you know that you should apply three hours a day to this priority then you know how to schedule it and everything else for each day, week and month.
  • Be fluid/realistic: You will often fall off the pace if you are unrealistic. What do I mean by this? Simply that you will have real-life issues arise that need your attention so expect your schedule to have interruptions. Go into working your scheduling and project management with the understanding that you need to be fluid – willing to adjust. But this does not mean give yourself excuses for accomplishing nothing, after all, this is why you’re attempting to manage the project(s) better. You must schedule with flexibility either by lowering daily/weekly/monthly expectations or having a tolerance for problems and being nimble enough to adjust for interruptions. Regardless, you are the manager of the project and you must take responsibility for it to complete it.

By this point in the series, you should have surveyed your time for availability and required time to complete tasks. Also, you should be aware of your goals and priorities. Lastly, you should have taken a look at your information to gain perspective.

Now it’s time to put your pieces together. Unlike a real jigsaw puzzle, your scheduling assessment does not have predetermined places in your puzzle. Instead, they depend on your conclusions from your survey. It’s completely up to you to decide how to schedule your time.

Most likely your first attempts will not fit like you want so you must re-assess and adjust how you will spend your time. Likewise, circumstances change and you may find you must schedule differently for a while than what you actually want to clear some projects out of your way. In this case, keep your long-term goals in mind to shift back toward scheduling them with proper emphasis.

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

The main idea is that you are your own CEO as a writer and you must determine outcomes. Your survey provides you with the information to schedule and adjust while becoming more efficient and effective with your efforts within your available time.

Do you have an idea of how to better manage your projects and time? Are you ready to put the pieces together and make more progress with writing? I’d love to hear from you so won’t you leave a question, idea or strategy in the comment section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today!

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Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

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