How to manage projects, virtual teams AND still have time to do your own creative work – Part 2

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In yesterday's Part 1, Justine shared advice on finding the right team and creating a project blueprint. Now, here's part 2:

3) Relinquish some control
I know this is hard, but one of the biggest bottlenecks to productivity is setting up a system where everything goes through you. As much as you try, you can’t be available to everyone all the time and if you’re busy with something else, the project will grind to a halt while your team waits for your feedback/direction.  Encourage your team to address questions/issues to one another directly and cc you.  That way you can monitor the project and only get involved only necessary.

4) Get organized
Tools that help you manage projects run the gamut from a note book to software systems that let you create projects and link them to contacts, appointments, emails, etc. (I use Daylite by Merchant Circle), What’s right for you depends on upon how many projects you’re running at once, how complex they are and how good your organizations skills are, but the project management must haves are:
• a dedicated project folder
• a project blueprint
• a written timeline (including client due dates for feedback) tacked to a bulleting board in front of you.
• daily ‘to-do ‘list (separated into priorities and non urgent)
• transcribed notes from meetings and calls
• reference/research material

5) Plan your time before your day starts
When you’ve got lots of plates spinning at the same time, it’s very easy to slip into a reactionary work mode.  When we allow ourselves to be at the mercy of the never-ending stream of requests, we get
off-track, our productivity takes a nose-dive and we end up feeling frustrated. I break my day into blocks of time and while I don’t always stick to it (is anyone else guilty of thinking they can do way more in an hour than they really can?), it does give me a frame of reference.  What I don’t achieve goes on my ‘to-do’ list for the next day.

Each person is different and my approach has been developed through trial and error.  The most important this is that you have a system. If you focus on the 3 key objectives: (1) building the right team (2) creating a project management system (3) managing your time, you’ll find a system that works for you.

Justine Clay is the founder of Pitch Perfect and teaches creative talent and entrepreneurs the business, interpersonal and project management skills they need to transform their creative ideas into paying projects and lasting professional relationships. To sign up for her newsletter, or learn more about upcoming workshops, please visit


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