In this episode we walk through a process to get clarity about what projects you should focus on next.
You know the feeling… too many projects on the todo list; you bit off more than you can chew.
So we could all use a simple process to get us back on track.
We call it the Energizer Planning Method because when you go through this process you’ll have clarity and confidence about exactly what’s next… and that just happens to be very energizing.
“The Energizer Planning Method to get your year back on track”
We walk you through each of these in detail in the podcast, but here’s a simplified list of the steps necessary.
1. DEFINE BIG PICTURE STATE OF THE BUSINESS: We always start with the big picture view because you need to be clear on where you are before you figure out where you need to go. For us at Fizzle, we score ourselves on the following categories:
- Revenue: how’s the revenue scenario? Growing? Shrinking? If you need help gathering metrics, checkout our episode on the 3 metrics that matter when you have to be your own CEO.
- Value: ask yourself and your team: How are our customers doing? You could do a survey or a net promoter score survey. You could also look at hard data like average lifetime value of customers, etc.
- Personal experience: Internally on your team or for yourself ask: How are we feeling about the work we’re doing? How’s it going? How’s it feeling?
2. MAKE A RECURRING EVENT ON YOUR CALENDAR: Schedule a reoccurring time to do this planning. You can’t be worker bee all the time OR CEO all the time! Gotta do both. You can schedule a few days alone or just a couple mornings in a row maybe. This is a perfect thing to do with your mastermind group where you help each member through this process. You want to have a RECURRING process, but you don’t want to have a PERPETUAL process.
3. BRAIN DUMP YOUR IDEAS: capture your ideas down on paper or in a tool like Trello. This is a BRAIN DUMP of your ideas. Exhaust your ideas and get them all down. It’s a good idea to keep that list of ideas all the time because you can keep track of those ideas over time throughout the year as you’re getting work done… think of it as a place to put your shiny objects over time so they don’t have to distract you 🙂
4. PRIORITIZE PROJECTS FOR IMPACT AND EFFORT: IMPACT is about how significantly this project will improve revenue, or reach, or personal interest or customer satisfaction… whatever metrics matter most to your business based on the current STATE OF THE BUSINESS (step 1). Then, EFFORT is about how much time, energy, resources is this going to take.
What you’re looking for here is high impact, low effort things you can ACTUALLY get done in a quarter (or whatever time cycle you hold yourself to for this planning). At this step you may only have 1-10 projects that end up being truly actionable for you this cycle.
5. GIVE EACH PROJECT THE SNIFF TEST & RE-PRIORITIZE PROJECTS: There’s a few steps to this one. Basically, we want to flesh out more of this project WITHOUT getting lost in the project itself. Once you’ve done these steps for EACH of the projects
- The first thing to do is make a list of WHY this project is a good idea, why completing this is a good thing for your biz.
- Then work the entire project backwards from the final step. For example, “launch the new course” isn’t the LAST step, right? Because then you have to promote it, fulfill the orders, answer the customer support, etc. You want to be really specific here and list out as many steps as you can. Working towards the front from the back will help you spot dependencies and blind spots.
- With the whole project listed out like this, now you can quickly break up the project into bite sized chunks that you can tackle. THESE are the things that go on your todo list! These are the micro-tasks or sub-projects that you can hold yourself to day after day and track your progress meaningfully!
We go more in depth on this process in the podcast episode above which I highly recommend you listen to because there’s a TON of nuance about planning projects.
I mean, think about it, we all fall off the ladder, we all get distracted from steady, focused progress.
AND YET creating informed plans and executing those plans is literally what keeps our businesses alive! So, don’t be afraid of a more in-depth planning process like this because when you can create a plan you execute and stick with… you’re unstoppable.
Happy planning! Thanks for reading and listening.
Every week we talk with entrepreneurs. We talk about what’s working and what isn’t. We talk about successes and failures. We spend time with complete newbies, seasoned veterans, and everything in between.
One topic that comes up over and over again with both groups is mistakes made in starting businesses. Newbies love to learn about mistakes so they can avoid them. Veterans love to talk about what they wish they had known when starting out.
These conversations have been fascinating, so we compiled a list of the 10 mistakes we hear most often into a nifty lil’ guide. Get the 10 Most Common Mistakes in Starting an Online Business here »