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 I Balance Multiple Projects Without Losing My Sanity

How I Balance Multiple Projects Without Losing My Sanity
Productivity Time Management Solopreneurship 14 min read 0 comments

Discover how I, Ian Wiedenman, balance multiple innovative projects like Somiibo, Slapform.com, and StudyMonkey.ai without losing my sanity, using effective time management and organizational tools.

Introduction: My Journey from One Project to Many

Ah, the good ol’ days of working on a single project. I remember when I first launched Somiibo—it was like being a new parent, nurturing it day and night. Little did I know that this would be just the beginning of a whirlwind journey into the land of multiple projects. Yes, you heard that right. The peaceful days of focusing on one task at a time quickly morphed into a juggling act that would make any circus performer envious.

When I first started, the idea of managing multiple ventures seemed as daunting as climbing Mount Everest without a sherpa. But as they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and boy, did I invent some crazy ways to stay afloat! From launching Slapform.com, a project that’s all about making form creation a breeze, to developing StudyMonkey.ai, my brainchild aimed at revolutionizing study habits—I’ve been on a wild ride.

What’s the secret sauce? Well, it’s a mix of passion, a dash of insanity, and a whole lot of coffee. But seriously, the transition from managing one project to several has taught me invaluable lessons. It’s been a rollercoaster of late nights, tight deadlines, and unexpected challenges. However, every twist and turn has been worth it.

The decision to branch out wasn’t just about ambition or financial gain. It was about challenging myself, stepping out of my comfort zone, and exploring new horizons. And let’s not forget the thrill of seeing each project grow and impact people’s lives. It’s like watching your children grow up and carve their own paths in the world, except these “children” are digital products that don’t talk back!

So, if you’re wondering how I went from a single-project solopreneur to juggling multiple ventures without losing my sanity, stick around. This article is going to dive deep into my journey, the strategies I’ve honed, and the tools that keep me sane. Spoiler alert: it’s not just about time management—it’s about mindset, adaptability, and a sprinkle of humor along the way.

Why Juggling Multiple Projects is Worth It

Ever wondered why anyone in their right mind would willingly juggle multiple projects? It’s like trying to keep a dozen plates spinning in the air without letting any crash to the ground. Trust me, I’ve been there, and I’ve learned that balancing multiple projects isn’t just about surviving the chaos; it’s about thriving in it. Why, you ask? Well, let’s dive into the juicy details.

First off, juggling multiple projects forces you to become a master of time management. When you’ve got several irons in the fire, you’ve got no choice but to prioritize, delegate, and streamline your workflow. This not only heightens your productivity but also sharpens your decision-making skills. You start to see the bigger picture and identify what truly matters, cutting through the noise to focus on tasks that drive the most value. If you’re curious about mastering roles and responsibilities, check out this handy guide.

Moreover, tackling multiple projects simultaneously can be incredibly rewarding. Each project comes with its own set of challenges and learning opportunities. With every new endeavor, you gain fresh insights and skills that you can cross-pollinate across your projects. It’s like creating a feedback loop of perpetual growth and innovation. Plus, the variety keeps things exciting. You’re not stuck in the monotony of a single project; instead, you’re constantly stimulated by new ideas and perspectives.

But let’s talk dollars and cents for a moment. Diversifying your projects can also lead to multiple streams of income. This financial cushioning is not just a safety net; it’s a trampoline that can catapult you to new heights. You’re spreading your risk and increasing your chances of hitting a home run with one of your ventures. In the entrepreneurial world, it’s always smart to have more than one egg in your basket. For some stellar tips on managing your time effectively, visit Mind Tools.

Then, there’s the sheer sense of accomplishment. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of seeing your ideas come to life and impact people in different ways. Each successful project adds another feather to your cap, boosting your confidence and credibility. You become a jack-of-all-trades and a master of some, which can open doors to even more exciting opportunities. Need some inspiration? This article about my journey might give you a few ideas.

Lastly, let’s not forget the community and connections you build along the way. Each project introduces you to new collaborators, clients, and mentors. Your network expands exponentially, creating a rich tapestry of relationships that can support and propel you forward. It’s like building your own little universe of resources and allies.

So, if you’re contemplating whether juggling multiple projects is worth the hassle, I’m here to tell you it absolutely is. Embrace the chaos, savor the journey, and watch as you grow both personally and professionally. For more insights on balancing your projects, take a peek at Entrepreneur’s guide.

Time Management: My Key Strategies for Success

Balancing multiple projects can feel like juggling flaming swords while riding a unicycle—it’s tricky, thrilling, and occasionally burns a bit. But hey, why live life on the ground when you can soar, right? Over the years, I’ve learned a few time management tricks that help me keep all those flaming swords in the air without singeing my eyebrows. Here’s how I do it.

First off, let’s talk about the art of prioritization. This isn’t just about making a to-do list; it’s about understanding which tasks are mission-critical and which ones can wait a day—or even a week. I like to think of my tasks in terms of “rocks,” “pebbles,” and “sand.” The rocks are the big, important tasks that need immediate attention. Pebbles are the medium tasks that are important but not urgent. Sand is the fluff—emails, minor updates, and the like. By focusing on the rocks first, I ensure that even if I don’t get to the pebbles and sand, I’ve still made meaningful progress.

Another key strategy is time blocking. This means setting aside specific chunks of time for different tasks or projects. For instance, mornings might be dedicated to creative work like brainstorming new ideas for Somiibo, while afternoons are for administrative tasks or meetings. Blocking out time not only helps me stay focused but also reduces the mental fatigue of constantly switching gears.

Next, let’s not underestimate the power of a good break. It might sound counterintuitive, but taking regular breaks can actually boost productivity. Whether it’s a quick walk, a coffee break, or a five-minute meditation session, these little pauses help refresh my mind and keep burnout at bay. Trust me, even the most driven solopreneur needs a breather now and then!

On top of that, I use a mix of digital tools to keep everything organized. Tools like Trello for project management, Google Calendar for scheduling, and Slack for communication are my go-to. Each tool serves a specific purpose, making it easier to keep track of multiple projects without feeling overwhelmed. If you’re curious about the specific tools I use, check out my detailed post on organization tips.

Lastly, I’ve learned that it’s crucial to be flexible. No matter how well you plan, things can and will go awry. Maybe a critical piece of software crashes, or a client throws a curveball. When that happens, it’s important to adjust your plan without losing your cool. Flexibility isn’t just about bending; it’s about bouncing back.

By combining prioritization, time blocking, regular breaks, effective use of digital tools, and a healthy dose of flexibility, I’ve managed to keep my sanity while juggling multiple projects. And believe me, if I can do it, so can you. If you want more insights on my journey, check out my post on the unexpected challenges and rewards of running multiple ventures.

So, ready to juggle those flaming swords? Let’s do this!

Tools and Techniques: What Keeps Me Organized

When it comes to juggling multiple projects, you might think I have an extra set of hands or a time-turner straight out of Harry Potter. I wish! While I haven’t mastered the art of time travel, I have honed a few tools and techniques that keep me from losing my marbles. Let’s dive into the magic toolbox, shall we?

First on the list, my all-time favorite: Trello. This productivity tool is like having a digital corkboard where I can pin all my tasks, ideas, and milestones in one place. Each project gets its own board, and within each board, I create lists for different stages of the project. From “To-Do” to “In Progress” to “Completed,” it’s all there. Plus, the visual nature of Trello helps me see the big picture without getting bogged down in the nitty-gritty. If you’re curious about how I navigate roadblocks, I discussed some strategies in this blog post.

Next up, Slack. Communication is key, especially when you’re running multiple ventures. Slack channels keep my team and me on the same page, whether we’re discussing a new feature for StudyMonkey.ai or brainstorming marketing ideas for Slapform.com. It’s like having a virtual office where everyone can pop in and out as needed. The best part? No endless email chains cluttering up my inbox!

Another gem in my arsenal is Notion. If Trello is my corkboard, Notion is my Swiss Army knife. It’s an all-in-one workspace where I can take notes, create databases, and even draft blog posts. I use Notion to keep track of meeting notes, project timelines, and random bursts of inspiration that strike at 2 AM. Speaking of inspiration, I shared some lessons from my expansion journey in this article.

For time management, I’m a big fan of the Pomodoro Technique. This involves working in 25-minute sprints with short breaks in between. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when you know a break is just around the corner. Plus, it keeps me from burning out, which is crucial when you’re balancing multiple projects and trying to stay sane.

Let’s not forget Google Calendar. This digital calendar keeps my days structured and ensures I don’t double-book myself. I block out time for deep work, meetings, and even personal activities. After all, a well-rounded life makes for a more effective solopreneur. For insights into how I balance thinking big while starting small, check out this blog post.

And finally, let’s talk about automation tools. Zapier is my go-to for automating repetitive tasks. Whether it’s sending a follow-up email or updating a spreadsheet, Zapier handles it, freeing up my time for more critical tasks. Automation might just be the unsung hero in my productivity toolkit.

Incorporating these tools and techniques has been a game-changer for me. They don’t just keep me organized; they also help me maintain a level of productivity that allows me to juggle multiple projects without dropping the ball. Curious about what traits make a successful solopreneur? I’ve got some thoughts on that in this piece.

So, there you have it, folks. These tools and techniques are what keep me organized, productive, and—most importantly—sane in the whirlwind of project juggling. Now, go forth and conquer your to-do list!

Overcoming Challenges: Dealing with Setbacks and Stress

Man, if I had a dollar for every time I hit a snag while juggling multiple projects, I’d probably have a new revenue stream! But let’s get real for a moment—setbacks and stress are inevitable when you’re a solopreneur. The good news? They don’t have to be your nemesis. In fact, overcoming these challenges can make you more resilient, innovative, and ultimately, more successful.

First off, let’s talk about setbacks. They come in all shapes and sizes—missed deadlines, unexpected technical issues, or even those “what was I thinking?” moments. It’s easy to let these hiccups derail your progress, but the key is to reframe them. Instead of seeing setbacks as roadblocks, think of them as detours that offer new perspectives. When I launched Somiibo, there were countless times I thought I’d hit a dead end. But each challenge forced me to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions.

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room—stress. Oh, the stress! It’s like an uninvited guest that just won’t leave. But stress doesn’t have to be your enemy. In fact, a certain amount of stress can be a good thing—it can motivate you to push through barriers and achieve your goals. The trick is to manage it effectively.

One strategy I swear by is compartmentalization. It’s a fancy way of saying, “Don’t let one bad apple spoil the bunch.” If one project hits a snag, don’t let it affect your mindset for your other projects. Focus on solving one problem at a time. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your empire.

Another method that works wonders is mindfulness. Yeah, I know it sounds a bit woo-woo, but trust me on this. Taking a few minutes each day to meditate or simply breathe can make a world of difference. It helps clear your mind, reduce anxiety, and improve your focus. If you’re curious about balancing business and creativity while keeping your sanity intact, check out my thoughts here.

Of course, support systems are crucial too. Even as a solopreneur, you don’t have to do everything alone. Lean on your network, whether it’s friends, family, or fellow entrepreneurs. Sometimes, just talking things through can provide you with new insights or solutions you hadn’t considered.

Lastly, don’t forget to celebrate your wins—big or small. It’s easy to get caught up in what’s going wrong and overlook what’s going right. Acknowledge your achievements and use them as motivation to keep pushing forward. After all, every setback you overcome is a step closer to your ultimate goal.

In the end, dealing with setbacks and stress is all part of the solopreneur journey. Embrace the challenges, learn from them, and keep moving forward. As I like to say, “When the going gets tough, the tough get creative!” And if you ever need some extra inspiration, you can always dive into my journey of scaling a business as a one-man show. Keep hustling, and remember—you’ve got this!

Conclusion: Reflecting on My Growth and Future Plans

Wow, what a wild ride it’s been! Looking back, I can hardly believe how much I’ve grown since the days of focusing solely on Somiibo. Expanding my empire to include Slapform.com, StudyMonkey.ai, and a slew of other projects has been both exhilarating and exhausting—but hey, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Each project has taught me a ton. From understanding the nitty-gritty of time management to mastering the art of diversification, I’ve learned that juggling multiple projects is like a high-wire act. It requires balance, focus, and a pinch of madness. But let’s be real, the thrill of seeing an idea come to life and flourish makes all the sleepless nights and hair-pulling moments worth it.

Speaking of balance, let’s not forget the importance of taking a breather. I’ve realized that my best ideas often come when I’m not glued to my computer screen. Whether it’s a brisk walk, a good book, or a weekend getaway, giving my brain a break is just as important as tackling that to-do list.

Looking ahead, I’m excited about the future. There are still so many untapped opportunities and innovative ideas just waiting to be explored. My plan is to continue pushing the envelope, experimenting with new concepts, and growing my business empire. Who knows? Maybe the next big thing is just around the corner.

I’m also eager to share more of my journey with you. If you’re curious about how I turned one project into a thriving business empire, check out my blog post. For those interested in my journey beyond Somiibo, I’ve got a detailed account right here. And if mastering the art of diversification piques your interest, don’t miss this article.

So, here’s to the future, filled with even more projects, challenges, and successes. If you’re a solopreneur like me or simply someone looking to juggle multiple balls without losing your sanity, keep pushing forward. The journey might be crazy, but that’s where the fun lies. Cheers!


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