How To Handle A Big Project When You Are Off Track…
Being an entrepreneur and having a start up of your own, comes with several benefits and challenges. Just like life, every business and start up go through ups and downs. The ability to sustain through tough times, separates a successful business from those that fail.
For a business, it gets immensely tough to handle a project, especially when the business is off-track. So, what should you do when you have to work both on an important project, as well as bring your business back on the right track?
With years of managing projects, I have learnt how to deal with such big projects.
Here is what has helped me so far, and they can work for you as well.
- Don’t Be a Self-Critic
As an entrepreneur, I have faced several situations where I felt like I am losing control over things. In such times, however, instead of self-criticism, I chose self compassion, and that helped me gain the control.
For instance, if you go off schedule for any reason, accept it, wherever you are, in that moment. Only afterwards, should you action steps to fix the problem. You should keep in mind that being a self critic, is simply a waste of both, energy and time.
- Keep Time Margins In Mind
Whenever I had a big project that needed completing, I aimed at finishing it 3-4 weeks prior to the deadline. This gave me plenty of time for a final revaluation, to ensure that the project met all the requirements.
The thing with bigger projects is, that initially, it will be easier to get started but when unexpected issues start coming up, you tend to slow down.
Whenever you are tackling a larger project, it is highly recommended that you plan your schedule ahead of time. In a few cases, that can be a few days. In other cases, especially with ambitious projects, it’s beneficial to give yourself a few weeks of extra time.
- Adapt To The Reality
While dealing with the last few big projects, I initially thought that I could accomplish my objectives on a schedule that included weekends as analysis days. But when I noticed that I was not able to finish the work that was to be evaluated, I postponed the evaluation. Here, not adamantly sticking to my plan and adjusting to reality, worked out for me.
Similarly, you can adjust to the realities and improvise your plans accordingly, be flexible with your plans while knowing what you have to do within a limited timeframe.
Don’t be upset with the reality and don’t ignore it. It is apparent that reality always wins. If you realise that you won’t be able to complete your project in the given time, give it some more time while cutting out time on less important things. Prioritise and follow through.
- Don’t Forget To Give Yourself Breaks
Regardless of me working extra hours, I make sure that I’m integrating fun into the process. I take Sundays off completely. I also plan social activities even if I am unable to stay for long periods.
Spending days, working without taking breaks, can make tasks pretty difficult. You need to have the required encouragement along the way.
Even in situations when you have to work harder, take out time for things that makes you happy. Failing to do so, you can get worn out and lose the required motivation to perfectly finish the project. Try incorporating exercise, sleep, and social activities as vital parts of your work process, as leisure too matters.
- Utilise Emergency Resources
In order to meet the deadline while working on the project efficiently, you may be required to bring in emergency resources that you have, such as emergency funds, outsourcing partners, etc. In almost every large project that I have worked on, I have brought in emergency funds, namely cash flow finance, to manage the other work processes. You can also make the best use of them in the times when you are off track from the plan and deadline.
Once you finish your project, do not forget to celebrate. It makes all the efforts you put, worth it. It is also crucial to recalibrate. There’s always a lot of work to do, but you should go back to your normal schedule as soon as you complete the big project.
The Bottom Line
Don’t get too stuck in work mode, so you start missing out on enjoying your accomplishments. Take time off, celebrate and get back to the basics as soon as possible. For some, this will mean a little time off to regain perspective. For others, it may simply mean reminding yourself of how you wish to live life on a regular basis, and resist the urge to stay in overdrive mode.
I hope the above-mentioned pointers will help you with whatever big projects you have in the months ahead. You can accomplish greater things with less stress, by utilising the right resources and having the right strategies in place.