Using Your Calendar For Your Large Projects
Measuring Your Length of Time – Part 9
Have you ever taken note of all the projects you need to and wish to accomplish?
We’re getting beyond task management systems and calendars and combing the two for this installment.
Let’s talk about those larger projects you have. A project is going to be those tasks and goals that will take weeks and even months to accomplish. How do you manage the projects in your life, your business?
The Thought or Concept:
Here’s what you need to think about when it comes to your time. What is it, at a high-level, you wish to accomplish? And since the Family Plan is a plan for a year, what would you like to have accomplished this year? Or wish to say you’ve accomplished at the end of this year? It’s these projects that give your family vision for the year. It’s these projects that strengthens your family, your life, your business and helps you reach your desired future-state.
Let’s begin to make the process of planning tasks easier to consider. Here are few steps we follow when creating our projects for any given year:
- Create a list. Create a list of all your projects. In order to know what projects you need or desire to accomplish, you’ll need to know what projects you have on your plate. You need a list and this list is critical to have in your plans. How else will you know what to do? Your plans will keep changing and you’ll look back years from now and you will wish you had done what you’d forgotten simply because you never made a list.
Once you know what projects you have in front of you, you can then decide what projects need to be accomplished this year. As a note, you’ll only want a handful, no more than this or you’re asking for failure. Taking on too many projects ensures you won’t accomplish very many.
- Decide target projects. Deciding what you want to accomplish is all up to you and your family; it’s y’all’s business. There’s no right or wrong answer to what you need to do and never has been, it’s all up to you. What you guys decide will give your family focused efforts and meaning to being a family. You want to add meaning to your family and bring your family together, then come up with a “big” project that you all can work on. See what having projects will do to unify your family and create strong family values. An example of this might be a family Serve Day project or a DIY home renovation project or planning a family event/vacation, etc.
- Make a plan. I call this mapping it. Break each project down into small pieces or components. Every “big” project is only doable when it’s broken down into smaller action steps. You can’t do it all at once. And you can’t keep track of it without a plan.
- Schedule the plan. This is where your shared calendar will come in handy. Add each small action step to the shared calendar. I like to use all-day appointments for my project steps. Use a start date that’s the same as when you wish to begin the next step and an end date of when you like to have that step completed. Seeing these pieces and the project on a calendar helps you see what time constraints may exist and it gives you an idea on whether your timeline will work in reality. The calendar will reveal where you might need to make some adjustments in your timeline.
- Enjoy the journey. Every project, we’ve found, is like a journey. As we complete the small pieces, we see the bigger picture begins to take shape. All the activity and shared decision making makes for really great dinner conversations and teaches our children how to accomplish big things.
This last item I’m sharing with you regarding your calendar or as I like to call it your time-grid is how to place your major project timeline into it. Your life is the sum total of all your life’s projects. Pre-school, elementary, high-school, football season, college, wedding planning, home renovations, these are all projects and they have the potential of being more than just work, but the very activities that make your family’s lives more enjoyable.
Today Is Friday!
What would having projects in your home, your life, your business make possible for you and your family? Better yet how do you track your progress and stay on tasks with projects that span weeks and months? I hope you’ve enjoyed the five step process it takes to keep up with the projects you have for your year.
As always, thanks for reading and don’t forget to share this with someone.