Trailblazers are inspired with many ideas, which is both a blessing and a curse. You’re always pushing the limits, paving new paths and obliterating all that’s ‘cookie-cutter’.
The downside to this is that while you’re busy innovating, a lot of things can fall by the wayside.
This can unfortunately create a domino effect – you’re not getting the response you wish you had and you don’t follow through or you start a lot of trails and leave them unfinished. What’s worse, you might even start losing confidence in yourself and your ideas.
But how do you maintain your momentum and take your awesome ideas to the finish line without compromising the rest of your business?
The answer is ‘habit’.
Simply put, these are practices that might start out feeling a bit like an inconvenience or a tedious task, but eventually become second nature. At first, you find it hard to fit it into your schedule, or you simply can’t be bothered – but eventually, these habits start to happen automatically, come hell or high water.
As Warren Buffett so famously said, ‘…chains of habit are too light to be felt, until they are too heavy to be broken.’
That said, here are four project management habits every trailblazer hungry for success should work on developing:
1. The Idea Book
Get a little notepad. As the idea pops up, jot it down, sketch it out – just transfer it from your head into a physical record. Then review your idea book periodically to choose what you want to implement or create next. This can help you prevent the quintessential “shiny object syndrome” and make more intentional moves in your business.
2. Mapping out the details
Ready to bring those ideas to life? Map it out down to the very last detail. Get a piece of paper, a wall, whiteboard, whatever. Scribble all over so that you have a record of all aspects of your idea and what you need to make it happen. The best part? You can walk away and then come back to a fully-fleshed out idea whenever you’re ready.
Finally, you must prioritize. Sure, everything is important – but some are more important than others. Some have really close deadlines and others can have a big impact on the bottom-line. But you have to determine what’s important to you and your business. As a trailblazer, priority number one should always be to maintain the status quo and build stability in your business. Once you have this mastered you can begin adding new exciting projects. Ultimately, you need to keep the big picture into perspective, while making informed and intelligent decisions about where you go next.
4. Breaking Projects Into Lists
When the picture is too big, sometimes all you need is a little perspective. That’s what list-making does—it shows you all you’re faced with in simple bite-sized chunks. So, sit down, write down everything that needs to get done to reach your goal and in what timeframe. This will keep you from falling victim to overwhelm because you’re not sure what comes next, you have your steps already laid out.
Being a trailblazer isn’t for the faint of heart; it’s not easy being awesome. Building great project management habits like these can help you to systematize your life and your business, so nothing gets lost in translation while you blaze new trails in search of success.
Aristotle said it best, ‘…success is not an action, but a habit.’
What are some of your own habits for success?