This information is from our chat with Jeannie “The Pole Digger” during her webinar November…
How to manage your workload so you can spend more time hanging upside down with your clients
This IPIA resource post is based on content shared by Seonaidh Jamieson, the Neurodivergent Project Manager from her webinar for the IPIA in 2023.
Pole businesses are dynamic and exciting… and also sometimes stressful and overwhelming. If you’re caught up in the day-to-day, finding yourself firefighting, or are waiting for the right moment to take on that dream project, well, you’re in the right place.
In the first post we covered how to scope and plan your project. Make sure to review that post before diving into this one!
Time to get back in the jam jar and do some stuff! 💪 Your Project Manager Mode can take a rest during this stage and be drafted in if…
- Something goes wrong.Problems happen, and when they do we need to step out of them and problem solve from a distance. Project Manager Mode can look at all of the moving parts, re-scope, re-plan, and restart. This distance can also help us regulate our emotions as we problem solve, it’s easier to see solutions with some detachment so get out of the jar and stare at that label!
- You feel overwhelmed. “Overwhelm” is a demoralizing emotion at best. Just like when something goes wrong, we need that distance to see possible solutions. Engage your Project Manager Mode and look for options, reschedule some due dates, and even pause or cancel projects that no longer make sense. Act from a place of looking after “futureou” and you’ll be back on top in no time!
- It’s the beginning or end of the week. Regularly stepping into Project Manager Mode and looking at the week to come can help you spot and plan for issues proactively. This is great if you lose track of long term goals because you can set a goal for the week to come, then step back in the jar with a clear target to aim for!
When your Project Manager Mode is deployed, you’re probably going to circle between scoping and planning. It’s normal to revisit these stages fairly regularly, particularly if you find elements of your project change drastically!
Your Project Manager Mode needs to learn too, and we don’t want to wait until your jar is full of the wrong jam before we realize we’ve made an error! Regular reviews help you to track your progress, celebrate wins, and pull back on track if you’re drifting. Depending on your business you may need a slightly different rhythm, but I aim for…
- Monthly reviews. These are bigger than a weekly check in and focus on the wider objectives for the month ahead. This is where we can make adjustments and balance out our weeks if things look a bit hectic.
- After something has gone wrong. Once you’re out of crisis management mode, your Project Manager Mode will probably need a debrief. This isn’t a time for blaming or beating yourself up, but instead for seeing what went well, what needs to be improved, and how you can prevent the same problem in future.
- End of project reviews. You did it! Far from the time to jump into the next big thing, this review is time to mark your achievements, take on lessons learned, and tie off any loose ends.
Using Your Project Manager Mode Sustainably
By toggling between ‘doing’ and ‘managing’ you are splitting out certain kinds of tasks and the information you need in your mind at any one time. When you are “doing,” you’re in the jar and you see every detail. Each second takes one second and you make progress one millimeter at a time. When your Project Manager Mode has got your back, you can keep working through that to-do list with confidence.
In Project Manager Mode, you step back and make decisions about your actions in the weeks and months to come. ‘Batching’ your decisions in this way helps you to save energy, and focus on following your well thought out plans later. You can see a condensed timeline and broad brush strokes, and trust you will pick up the details when you step out of Project Manager Mode.
When you work well “in the jar” and “looking at the label,” your pole-based business will run smoother than ever and you can spend more time doing what you love, which is pole, obviously.