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How to manage multiple projects without losing your sanity

Have you heard the saying that you teach what you most need to learn? In my case, that is absolutely true!

I love to be creative, come up with new ideas, projects and business ventures and design new products, and I always give everything the very best I have. I’ve had to develop some excellent skills to help me stay on top of it all and to help myself stay on the correct side of sanity in the process.

From time to time, I still give into temptation and freestyle it. I get bored with rigid systems, I get cocky and lazy. I think, “Hey, I teach and write about this stuff. I have my act together.”

It’s never long before the wheels fall off, and I feel intense frustration overwhelm me. I’m falling behind on just about everything and don’t really know what I’m meant to be doing first. I also usually seem to spend a significant amount of timing circling online between my inbox, Facebook, Internet banking and a significant number of online shopping sites, which I explain as “research” to my husband.

I basically act like a deer caught in the headlights — confused, bewildered, quite clueless and a bit pathetic, really.

I spend my days chasing my tail without ever getting anything useful done. Take this article for instance. I’ve been meaning to write a new article for about four weeks now!

I neglected the most basic three strategies for managing multiple projects:

Maintain clarity

It’s so important to allocate your time properly. To stay focused, you need crystal clear clarity on what to do when — and why.

I have an Ideal Week — or at least I had one. An Ideal Week is a color-coded weekly calendar that reminds you of the most effective way to segment your week to ensure all projects, including the all-important one of self-care, receive the required amount of attention to be successful.

I removed my Ideal Week calendar from its spot in the kitchen, intending to re-work it. I didn’t get around to it, and before long, the wheels fell off. My bad.

Keep a numbered to-do list

I’ve been working with mind maps lately, which are brilliant for getting a big picture overview of all your projects and how they interrelate. I started using my mind map as a sort of to-do list, and before long, the wheels fell off.

Mind maps mirror the way our brain works: everything all jumbled and randomly linked. They’re great at helping you make sense of things, but they’re really bad for helping you figure out what your priorities are and where to start.

The best thing for that is still a numbered to-do list. Numbers one, two and three should be placed beside the three most important things you need to focus on next.

Then you just follow the dots. Easy!

Know your limits and say no

I love the word no; it has such liberating super powers. I also love new and exciting projects and find myself wanting to say yes a lot. I had simply started saying yes to too many things, and before long, the wheels fell off.

So please know your limit and be smart enough to say no when you reach it.

If you can remember these three basic strategies, you should have absolutely no trouble in finding your way back on the road to sanity and regaining control of your many exciting projects!

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