How to Prioritize Projects in Your Business

April 6, 2021
Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode

When you start your own business, you’re putting yourself in the position to have a million different opportunities at your doorstep. It’s overwhelming, which is why you need to have a system in for prioritizing projects and opportunities so that you’re taking the right steps in our business. In this episode, Emily shares a simple 5-step process to help you prioritize ideas, opportunities, and projects so that you will put your time in effort in the right places.

Here are 5 Easy Steps to Help You Prioritize Projects for your Business

1 – Always capture your ideas.

A bad first step for dealing with project overwhelm is to stop capturing your ideas. No matter how overwhelmed you find yourself in your business, you must keep an ongoing list of idea, opportunities, and potential projects.

To do this effectively, you must embrace two mindsets:

First, there is no such thing as a bad idea. Here at Being Boss, we welcome all “shitty ideas” as a way to breakdown any hesitancy to share an idea out of fear that’s it’s not a good one. Because the truth is, many of the very best ideas start as a bad idea. But it’s through sharing and molding that it makes it’s way to being something great.

So when you’re writing down project ideas for things that you could create for or fix in your business, no idea is too shitty to capture.

The second mindset to adopt is that there are no expectations around the completion of any ideas you capture. Just because you are writing down an idea for a project or the next big thing for your business doesn’t mean that you actually have to do it. Remove all expectations that anything that goes on that project list is definitely going to get done; just capture them.

2 – Rate these projects based on business value.

If you are a business owner, you must make sure that your actions have the most impact in your business. Take your list of ideas and begin ranking them in how much value they’ll bring to your business, from most valuable to least value.

3 – Categorize those rated projects as urgent or not.

Once you rated them, categorize your projects in terms of whether or not they are urgent.

An example of an urgent project is a project that is based on something that you are being paid for, meaning it’s a client project or delivering a product to a customer. These customer/client-related projects that you’re already being paid for should always be your top priority.

Beyond those items, continue rating your projects or ideas on their level of urgency. The more urgent it is, the higher it should be up on your prioritized project list.

4 – Understand project dependency

You should have a clear understanding of how your projects depend on each other. As an example, one of your projects is to create a digital product and then the next one is for you to launch the digital product. Obviously, creation comes before launching.

As such, continue through your projects placing any related items in an ordered list based on dependency, and you’ll find yourself beginning to put things in a timeline as to the order in which your projects need to be tackled.

5 – Commit and Start doing the work!

Now you have your prioritized list of projects. You’ve rated them on the level of value they’ll bring to your business and identified which ones are urgent. You have a clear understanding of project dependency, making sure that you’re doing all the projects in the correct order. Now you just have to start moving and commit to your next most important projects.

Bring it into reality.

Resources

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Transcript

[00:00] Emily Thompson: If I had a dollar for every time, my boss asked me how to figure out what to do next in their business. I would prioritize, spending more time with bosses and I would be rich. Because the fact is whenever you decide to start your own business, you were putting yourself in the position to have a million different opportunities at your doorstep at any given moment.

[00:00:19] Emily Thompson: And no one there to tell you what to do next that's for you to decide that's what you've signed up for. But the struggle is real. And with a simple system, you can not only be the boss of your business, but you can be the boss of yourself and you can easily navigate all of those opportunities so that you are putting together all the pieces of your puzzle in the right order. And that's what we're here to talk about today.

[00:00:48] Emily Thompson:  Welcome back to 10 minutes to being boss a bite-size show, offering up tips, tools, and tactics for helping you do business. And I'm Emily Thompson. And today we're talking about prioritizing projects in your business, but before we dive in too far, I want to share more about our sponsor.

[00:01:04] Emily Thompson: Podia. If after today you decided that creating and launching a digital product for your business is the next thing on your list. And I encourage you to scoot over to podia. Podia is an all-in-one digital storefront that makes it easy for you to sell digital downloads courses and memberships. All in one place, you can learn more and sign up for a free 14 day trial with no credit card required and get 15% off for life.

[00:01:30] Emily Thompson: By going to podia.com/. Bosses.

[00:01:34] Emily Thompson: Now I know stranger to project overwhelmed. I'm a creative, I'm a business owner. Times two, this had, has so many ideas, but I like you only have 24 hours in my day. So I've had to learn to prioritize my projects in a way that make sure that my every effort has the most impact possible.

[00:01:55] Emily Thompson: So, what I want to share with you is an easy five-step process that you can use as you are navigating the ideas and turning them into projects and choosing just the projects to take action on next in your business. Five simple steps to get you there. Step number one is that I encourage you to always capture your ideas.

[00:02:19] Emily Thompson: One of the places that we can find ourselves whenever we start experiencing project overwhelm, is that we actually stop capturing the ideas. You have to keep an ongoing list. No idea is bad, which sort of leads me into two mindsets that I like to keep in mind whenever capturing all of the ideas. One is that there is no such thing as a

[00:02:42] Emily Thompson: an idea too bad to capture and my team and in the beanballs community, one of the things that I. Emphasize I highlight, I encourage as much as possible is shitty ideas and I call them shitty ideas because I want there to be an understanding that you can share your shitty ideas. You can, you can share the ideas that you may otherwise keep quiet because you think they're too bad to share by going ahead and framing them up as your shitty ideas.

[00:03:11] Emily Thompson: You opened the door for the capturing of all ideas because I often find that some of the

[00:03:18] Emily Thompson: best ideas start as truly shitty ideas. So whenever you are writing down project ideas, for things that are coming up for you as to what things you could fix in your business, things you want to implement in your business, things you want to create. No idea is too shitty to capture. I encourage the sharing of any and all shitty ideas.

[00:03:38] Emily Thompson: The next mindset to sort of keep in mind around this first step is that there are no expectations just because you were writing down an idea for a project or something that you need to be doing doesn't mean that you actually have to be doing. I also keep this in mind very much so whenever I'm working with my team, so yes, to all the shitty ideas, but remove any expectations that anything that goes on that project list is definitely going to get done.

[00:04:02] Emily Thompson: It quite likely won't get done. But the idea is that you're capturing all of the ideas and then they get sort of melded, massage themselves into all of the great projects that will make your business amazing. Okay. I also find that it sort of circles back around that whenever you are putting all of your ideas in the notebook or in the place where you are capturing your ideas, if you're putting all the shitty ones and the good ones and you are having no expectations, what you do find is that

[00:04:33] Emily Thompson: looking at that really overwhelming list of all of the ideas. It can really help you hone in on making sure you're following this process because you realize that if you were to just act on every idea that you have, you would never get anything done. So by separating the capturing and the doing, you are able to sort of create this feedback loop of why it is that this process is in place.

[00:04:58] Emily Thompson: And that takes us to step number two, which is for you to rate these projects based on business value.

[00:05:05] Emily Thompson: Now, if you are just going after creative projects, you can do whatever you want. Next. That is totally up to you. But if you are A business owner, you are going to want to make sure that your action is going to have the most impact in your business consistently. So I always take my list and I take off really any of the

[00:05:28] Emily Thompson: doable projects. And I begin or rating them by business value, the value that it's going to bring into my business. So I have a clear understanding of what is going to be the most effective use of my time next in its relation to the impact it will have in my business.

[00:05:46] Emily Thompson: once you have them rated, I encourage you to do another rating or really a categorization to categorize your projects in terms of whether they are urgent or not urgent. Urgent projects are going to look something like a project that is based on something that you were being paid for. So it's a client project or delivering a product to a customer

[00:06:10] Emily Thompson: as a business owner. This is always going to be, should always be your top priority or at least within your top two or three priorities. You are in business to get paid. So you have to do the work that gets you paid

[00:06:23] Emily Thompson: another thing that may be urgent for you as something that's important for your business foundations. Like is it time for you to do your taxes or file for your business license or take care of any of those other really important pieces that allow you to run your business?

[00:06:38] Emily Thompson: So take a moment and go through your project list and identify anything that is urgent. The more urgent it is, the higher it should be up on your prioritized project list.

[00:06:48] Emily Thompson: Once you have all of your projects rated and categorized, then comes step number four. And that is for you to have a clear understanding of how your projects depend on each other. And what this looks like is let's say one of your projects is to create a digital product. And the next one is for you to launch the digital product.

[00:07:11] Emily Thompson: Obviously creation comes before launching. And so you're able to sort of start putting things in a timeline as to which project it is that needs to be tackled back.

[00:07:22] Emily Thompson: And then finally, step number five is to prioritize your list of projects. You've rated them based on business value, you know, which ones are urgent and needs to be done sooner rather than later. And you have a clear understanding of a project dependency, making sure that you're doing all of the projects in the correct order that they need to get done.

[00:07:42] Emily Thompson: So that they all get done. So make this final list and then it's time for you to commit and just start doing the work.

[00:07:50] Emily Thompson: For anyone who does this as they are following along, I would love for you to head into the comments of this video and share with me what project it is that it has become very clear for you. It is the next biggest priority in your business. I would love to hear in the comments. So what it is that you will be up to next, and if you now have your beautiful list of our projects and now

[00:08:14] Emily Thompson: find the time to make them do I have some free training on time management using my favorite time management tactic, which is time blocking, which I will also link in the description or show notes for this video. And with that, you have a simple five-step process for taking what is love, the ideas that are in your marvelous, creative business owner brain, getting them down on paper and then succinctly and clearly identifying which projects need to be done in what order to make the maximum impact in your business right now.

[00:08:51] Emily Thompson: And for the months to come. Congratulations. I'm very proud of you. That's a very boss move.

[00:08:56] Emily Thompson: And I appreciate you coming and spending this bit of time with me. And until next time do the work be boss.