Ian Wiedenman blog

I grew my company ITW Creative Works from a start-up to a thriving creative development agency through strategic business growth and strong client relationships.

How Do I Manage Multiple Projects and Still Find Time for Myself?

How Do I Manage Multiple Projects and Still Find Time for Myself?
Project Management Time Management Work-Life Balance 12 min read 3 comments

Discover how I, Ian Wiedenman, manage multiple projects like Somiibo, Slapform.com, and StudyMonkey.ai while still making time for myself.

Juggling Act: The Challenge of Managing Multiple Projects

Boy, oh boy, managing multiple projects can feel like you’re performing in a circus, juggling flaming torches while riding a unicycle. It’s a wild ride, but let me tell you, it’s also incredibly exhilarating. When I first launched Somiibo, I was focused on just one project. It was my baby, my singular focus. But as time went on, I found myself diving headfirst into new ventures like Slapform.com and StudyMonkey.ai. Suddenly, I wasn’t just juggling one ball—I was handling an entire circus act.

So, what makes this juggling act such a challenge? For starters, each project comes with its own set of demands, deadlines, and quirks. One day, I’m deep into coding for Slapform, and the next, I’m brainstorming marketing strategies for StudyMonkey. It’s like switching hats every hour, and let’s be honest, my head can only handle so many hat changes before it starts spinning.

But the real kicker? It’s not just about managing tasks; it’s about managing energy and focus. You can’t give 100% to every project all the time—it’s simply not possible. There are days when I feel like I’m spread thinner than a pancake on Shrove Tuesday. And yet, somehow, I have to find a way to keep all those plates spinning without losing my sanity.

One of the biggest hurdles I’ve faced is prioritizing. With so many projects on the go, it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind and lose sight of what’s truly important. You know that feeling when you’re trying to catch up on emails, attend meetings, and still find time to actually get some work done? Yeah, that.

But here’s the thing—despite the chaos, there’s a method to the madness. It’s about knowing when to say “no” and when to double down. It’s about understanding that some balls can be dropped, while others need to be caught with precision. And most importantly, it’s about finding joy in the chaos. Because at the end of the day, this juggling act is what keeps life interesting. It’s what pushes me to innovate, to think outside the box, and to keep growing as a solopreneur.

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by your own juggling act, take a deep breath. Embrace the challenge, find your rhythm, and remember—you’re not alone in this circus. We’ve got this.

Prioritizing Tasks: What’s Important and What’s Urgent?

Ah, the age-old struggle of prioritizing tasks—it’s like trying to juggle flaming torches while riding a unicycle on a tightrope. Sounds dramatic, right? But if you’ve ever found yourself buried under a mountain of to-dos, you know it’s not far from the truth. The trick is distinguishing between what’s important and what’s urgent. Spoiler alert: they’re not the same thing.

First off, let’s get one thing straight. Urgent tasks scream for your attention like a toddler in a toy store. They’re time-sensitive and often come with a ticking clock. Important tasks, however, are the ones that contribute significantly to your long-term goals and values. They’re the meat and potatoes of your productivity plate. So, how do you separate the wheat from the chaff?

Start by making a list. Yeah, I know, lists can seem boring, but trust me on this one. Write down everything you need to do, then categorize each task. Is it urgent? Is it important? Or is it both? For instance, responding to an email from a client about a project due tomorrow—urgent and important. Planning the next big feature for Slapform.com—not urgent but definitely important.

Once you’ve got your tasks sorted, it’s time to focus on the heavy hitters. Tackle the urgent and important ones first. They’re the crises that need immediate attention. Then, carve out time for the important but not urgent tasks. These are the game changers that will propel your projects forward, like developing new functionalities for StudyMonkey.ai or strategizing the next marketing campaign for Somiibo.

And let’s not forget about those sneaky little tasks that masquerade as urgent but are neither urgent nor important. They’re the time-suckers, the distractions. Delegate them if you can, or better yet, eliminate them entirely. Trust me, your future self will thank you.

If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, don’t fret. There are tools out there to save the day. Have you ever heard of the Eisenhower Matrix? It’s a nifty tool that helps you prioritize by urgency and importance. You can check it out here. And for a deeper dive into effective prioritization, this article is a goldmine of tips.

But hey, don’t just take my word for it. Reflect on your own journey and find what works best for you. Maybe you’re a morning person who can knock out important tasks before breakfast, or perhaps you thrive on the adrenaline of last-minute deadlines. Whatever your style, own it.

And speaking of owning it, if you want to see how I manage to keep all my projects afloat while still finding time for myself, check out my personal blog here. It’s all about finding that sweet spot between productivity and sanity.

So, next time you’re drowning in tasks, remember: not everything urgent is important, and not everything important is urgent. Prioritize wisely, and you’ll be conquering that to-do list like a pro.

Time Management Tools: My Secret Weapons

Alright, folks, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of how I keep my head above water while managing multiple projects. Spoiler alert: it’s all about the tools!

Let’s face it, juggling multiple projects can feel like trying to keep a dozen plates spinning in the air. One wrong move, and it’s a disaster. But with the right time management tools, you can transform chaos into a well-orchestrated symphony. Here are my secret weapons that help me stay on top of things.

First up, Trello. Oh, how I love Trello! It’s like having a digital corkboard where I can pin all my tasks, ideas, and deadlines. I organize my boards by project and use lists to track progress from “To Do” to “Done.” Plus, the colorful labels and satisfying drag-and-drop interface make task management almost fun. Almost.

Next, there’s Asana. When a project gets more complex, I switch to Asana. It’s perfect for breaking down big tasks into smaller, manageable chunks. The timeline feature is a lifesaver for visualizing project milestones and ensuring nothing slips through the cracks. And let’s not forget the sheer joy of checking off tasks—there’s nothing quite like it!

Now, let’s talk about Google Calendar. This one might seem obvious, but it’s a cornerstone of my time management strategy. I live by my calendar, scheduling everything from work tasks to personal time. Color-coding events helps me distinguish between different projects and ensures I allocate time for myself amidst the hustle. Trust me, seeing those blue blocks for “Me Time” is like a breath of fresh air.

Of course, no arsenal is complete without a trusty Pomodoro Timer. This little gem helps me stay focused by breaking work into 25-minute chunks with short breaks in between. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when you know you have a break coming up. And those breaks? Perfect for a quick stretch or a coffee refill.

And then there’s Evernote. It’s my go-to for capturing ideas on the fly. Whether I’m jotting down a brilliant concept for a new project or simply making a grocery list, Evernote keeps everything organized and easily accessible. The search feature is a godsend when you’re trying to find that one note from months ago.

Lastly, I can’t forget Slack. Communication is key when managing multiple projects, especially if you’re collaborating with a team. Slack keeps conversations organized in channels, making it easy to track discussions and share important files. Plus, the integrations with other tools make it a central hub for all my project-related communication.

These tools are more than just apps—they’re lifelines that keep me organized and sane. They help me stay ahead of the curve with constant innovation and manage multiple ventures without losing my sanity. If you’re curious about more ways I stay inspired while juggling my projects, check out my blog on how I stay inspired while managing multiple ventures.

Incorporating these tools into your routine might take a bit of trial and error, but once you find the right mix, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them. So go ahead, give them a try, and transform your project management game!

Finding Balance: Making Time for Myself Amidst the Chaos

So, here I am, knee-deep in a whirlwind of projects, deadlines, and never-ending to-do lists. I mean, who would’ve thought that managing multiple ventures like Somiibo and Slapform would feel like juggling flaming swords while riding a unicycle on a tightrope? Yet, amidst this circus act, I’ve somehow managed to carve out little pockets of time for myself. How, you ask? Well, let me spill the beans.

First off, let’s talk about the power of saying “no.” It’s liberating, honestly. Early on, I had this superhero complex where I felt compelled to tackle every challenge head-on. Spoiler alert: it’s a fast track to burnout. By setting clear boundaries and learning to turn down additional commitments that didn’t align with my core goals, I freed up invaluable time. This doesn’t mean I’m slacking off; it simply means I’m prioritizing my well-being alongside my work.

Then there’s the art of delegation. Yes, I know, as a solopreneur, it’s tempting to wear all the hats. But trust me, bringing in help—be it through freelancers, automation tools, or smart delegation—can be a game-changer. For example, using project management tools not only streamlines my tasks but also gives me the breathing room to indulge in some “me time.”

Speaking of “me time,” let’s not forget the little rituals that keep me sane. Whether it’s a quick morning jog, a leisurely coffee break, or diving into a good book, these moments are sacred. They recharge my batteries and keep the creative juices flowing. And here’s a tip from my playbook: schedule these breaks as non-negotiable appointments. If you treat them with the same importance as a client meeting, you’re less likely to skip them.

Another secret weapon? Mindfulness and meditation. Now, I’m not saying you need to transform into a zen monk, but a few minutes of mindfulness can do wonders. It helps me center myself, clear the mental clutter, and tackle my projects with renewed focus. Plus, it’s a great way to hit the pause button in a chaotic day.

Lastly, embracing flexibility has been crucial. Sometimes, life throws curveballs, and rigid schedules just won’t cut it. By staying adaptable and cutting myself some slack, I’ve learned to roll with the punches without losing my sanity. It’s about finding that sweet spot between discipline and flexibility.

In essence, finding balance is a continuous journey. It’s a dance between managing multiple projects and nurturing myself. But with a bit of strategy and a whole lot of self-compassion, it’s entirely possible to thrive amidst the chaos. And hey, if I can do it, so can you! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a date with a hammock and a good book.

Conclusion: Reflecting on My Journey and Looking Ahead

When I look back at this wild rollercoaster ride of managing multiple projects while trying not to lose my sanity, I can’t help but chuckle. It’s been a mix of late-night brainstorming sessions, chaotic coffee-fueled mornings, and moments of sheer panic. But hey, who said juggling projects was a walk in the park?

What stands out the most is how much I’ve learned about myself and my work habits. I’ve discovered that prioritizing is like playing Tetris—finding the perfect fit for each piece at the right time. Tasks that once seemed insurmountable now get tackled with a sense of strategy and finesse. And yes, sometimes they still pile up like an unbalanced Jenga tower, but that’s part of the fun, right?

The tools and techniques I’ve adopted have been my lifelines. From digital planners to productivity apps, these secret weapons have been pivotal in keeping me on track. They’ve helped me break down colossal projects into manageable chunks, making the mountain look more like a series of small hills.

But beyond the tools and tricks, it’s the balance I’ve found that truly matters. Making time for myself amidst the chaos has been a game-changer. Whether it’s a quick walk to clear my head or a few moments of mindfulness, these small breaks have kept me grounded. It’s about finding those pockets of peace in the whirlwind of tasks and deadlines.

Looking ahead, I feel more equipped than ever to handle whatever comes my way. The journey from launching Somiibo to expanding with projects like StudyMonkey.ai has been nothing short of exhilarating. Each venture has taught me something new, pushing me to innovate and adapt. And with each lesson, I’ve become more adept at striking that elusive work-life balance.

I’m excited about the future and the endless possibilities it holds. From navigating roadblocks as a solopreneur to embracing innovation in my business journey, the road ahead is brimming with potential. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the key traits of successful solopreneurs lie in resilience, adaptability, and a dash of humor.

So, as I reflect on my journey and look forward, I invite you to join me in this adventure. Whether you’re juggling multiple projects or just starting out, remember to find your balance, cherish those small breaks, and keep pushing forward. After all, the best is yet to come.


Follow my journey as a solopreneur, and my evolution from launching Somiibo, a single project, to expanding my empire with multiple innovative projects like Slapform.com, StudyMonkey.ai, and more