Before dive deeper into project management and how it can help you as a creative entrepreneur, I want to clarify what project management is and what it is not.
Project management is not productivity.
It is not a new method of productivity and it’s not the latest trend in productivity techniques. We have many productivity systems and techniques available to us and no system is perfect for everyone. I personally use a modified version of the Pomodoro Technique for time management. The Pomodoro Technique works on the premise that you take a number of short breaks between scheduled 25 minute work periods. After you do a certain number of “Pomodoros” then you can take a bigger break.
Lately, I have been experimenting with how to be more productive and have modified this technique. I try to commit to working 20 minutes on a task. Then I take a break. Sometimes that break is quite a few hours, but it works for me. When I come back to my desk to do more work, I might continue that task or work on something totally different. It’s a modified version of the Pomodoro Technique because Pomodoro says you come back after 5 minutes, then work for 25 minutes, then break for another 5, then work and so on. I don’t force myself into taking limited breaks, but I do commit to focusing on a task for 20 minutes.
Other productivity methods include “The Action Method,” which allows you to quickly move from brainstorming ideas to action items by adding due dates and priorities to your task; the “Eating Live Frogs” method, in which you do the most important, difficult or ugliest tasks first; and the “Don’t Break the Chain” method that encourages you to keep yourself accountable and creating a habit by working on your tasks every day and marking them off on a calendar.
Productivity is what helps you to manage your time to get things done. It helps you to organize your task list and get all of your tasks complete. But project management will help you to figure out which tasks you should be working on. So, in a way, project management can set you up to be productive because your project will be organized and you will know what to do next. Then you can pick your favorite productivity tricks to get the work done.