Below is a list of 5 steps to help you manage projects at home. Maybe this blog post should be called Project Management 101 because managing projects is not easy. For the first time in my life, I think I have actually come up with a system that works. This is because I really needed to come up with a system that I could use while also having 3 little kids running around.
Here are my 5 steps to help you manage projects at home…
Step 1 – Brainstorm
A huge problem with managing home projects is that there are normally so many floating through your head, it’s hard to decipher reality vs. dreams. Purchase a journal specifically for writing down projects that pop into your head randomly, so you don’t forget.
But more specifically, the first step is sitting down and writing the first 12 major projects that come to your mind (big or small) and you don’t have to be specific. Dedicate the first 3 pages of your journal to this list. This will be your starting point and reference. And if you can’t come up with 12, that’s totally fine. You will end up filling that list as you move through the months.
A little Tip: a great time to do this exercise is at the end of the month so you can brainstorm what projects got finished, and what will need to roll over into the following month.
Step 2 – Narrow the Focus
Once you have listed all the Major Projects that come to mind, it’s time to really think about which 3 Major Projects are most important to get done now. Not necessarily the ones you want to get done most, but the ones that need to get done the most. Things to keep in mind are the time of year, upcoming events, and monetary situation.
For instance, if summer is coming up, then getting the outdoor projects done are probably a priority. Lastly, you know the projects that are going to cost $$$$, like adding a porch or a shower/bathtub. Do you have the means for that now and/or when would be the better time? Probably not around the holidays or when planning vacations. Jot down these notes.
Step 3 – Timeline
Now we get more into the nitty gritty. Decide the order these top 3 Major Projects should be completed and when you feel like they should be completed. It’s good to give yourself a little buffer, so give yourself an early deadline rather than right up to the date. As a general rule of thumb, I give myself a month to complete Major Projects.
Now they could certainly be done in less time or take more time. But I have found this to be a good medium. A month gives you time to prepare, do, and then reflect. If you need to adjust your project schedule, then you can!
TIP: this is probably the most important thing. You will not start a new Major Project before finishing the last Major Project! So, stay focused on what project you are working on NOW and don’t get lost in the future!
Step 4 – Details
Dedicate at least 3 pages per Major Project. Write the project name at the top of the page. Starting with the first Major Project, list all of the things that come to mind that will need to be done and be specific on what you want to accomplish and what should probably be done first. Don’t worry about the other 2 Major Projects right now. You will start this whole process over again once your 1st Major Project is complete.
Now look at a calendar and schedule these projects for days that you can dedicate to really getting them done. I find a mini project per weekend is a good rule of thumb for me. But some things can be done in a night and some things must be put on hold depending on other factors like a baby shower (for instance).
Step 5 – Completion.
Now that you have mini projects scheduled to complete the Major Project, start doing it! Brainstorming and planning can be done in a day or two but competing these projects obviously will take up most of your time. So, start! No time like the present. Knock out your mini projects one by one. Don’t start the next mini project until the latter is completed. Give yourself time to complete and re-fine before moving on. This is KEY.
After you have completed all your “mini-projects”, and your 1st Project is done, it’s time to start this process over again. CROSS that project off of your LIST. Doesn’t that feel good!! You already have a game plan in mind for what Major Project needs to be done next. But it’s still good to re-evaluate your situation and refer back to your 12 Major Projects listed.
Do you have another Major Project to add now? Do you need to re-evaluate the order? Have priorities changed? Is the next planned project still a good project to focus on? What is the next project to add to your top 3 list?
I hope this blog post helped you learn the 5 Steps to Help You Manage Projects at Home. It is super important to be organized, especially for all us DIYers! Happy crafting!
P.S. if you need ideas for a project to manage, here are 30 days worth of ideas for June projects and activities!