How You Should Tackle Many Projects At Once

Henrik Bothe Spinning 5 Plates

No. I can’t just focus on one thing. I don’t know what will work, so I need to do all of them just in case only one of them works” — Me to myself (2020)

First of all, let me just say what you’ve probably already heard so we get it out of the way:

“You should only focus on ONE single project or career or whatever, fuck everything else”, or something along those lines.

Now, before we move forward, let’s just make something else clear — you ain’t special. PERIOD.

No matter how much our ego wants us to be special, let’s face it, odds are that we’re not that special. At least not to a point where we think the advice that works for everyone else isn’t suited for us.

Why do I keep saying “us”?

Because if you go back to the version of me from one year ago, guess what it was he was trying to do?

He was trying to do 5–6 different projects at once. So, TRUST ME, I’ve learned how to go about it. Nothing better to be taught something than making mistakes to learn it, huh?

I can definitely attest to that.

Before you click away from this article because you’re looking for someone to encourage you to do multiple projects at once, allow me to say I am not about to tell you to abandon any of the projects you’re trying to accomplish.

After all, they’re ALL important as hell. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be trying to do them, right??? Exactly.

I just wanted to be clear on that. I wanted you to understand that I’m on your side and I want you to be able to accomplish everything that is important to you. I want all of your projects to be ON LOCK.

The thing is… tell me this doesn’t make sense:

The more energy you give to something, the better it will be and the quicker it will be achieved.

Do you agree with this statement? Does it make sense? Hopefully you think so.

If not, here’s a quick analogy to show you what I mean:

Let’s say you — who, I’m assuming, AREN’T a professional plate spinner — had to spin a plate. Just one.

Sure, maybe it wouldn’t be SUPER easy, but how hard could it be to spin one plate?

Once you’ve had it under control, you’d be given a second plate to spin at the same time. Do you think you could handle it? I mean, maybe you could. Maybe it’s a special hidden talent of yours!

But then, what if you had to keep 3 plates spinning at the same time??? Or 4?? Or 5, 6, whatever!

Obviously, the more plates you’d have, the more impossible your task would become. And that first plate that was spinning so beautifully at the beginning is either all wobbly by now or maybe it has even crashed on the floor.

This beautifully curated analogy that I totally spent more than 10 seconds coming up with is exactly how it works with any combination of multiple projects at once.

But screw all that!

HOW CAN YOU PULL OFF MULTIPLE PROJECTS??!?! I know that’s all you want to know.

It’s simple.

You must focus AT LEAST (that means AT A MINIMUM) 90% of your energy on the most important and most urgent of your projects.

So, first, you need to be able to rank everything you want to do by order of importance and urgency. And, after that, you pick the first item on the list and give it EVERYTHING you’ve got.

This doesn’t mean you have to abandon all of the other projects. It just means they won’t get as much of your attention (remember, they’re ALL only getting the remaining 10% of your energy and focus).

Don’t be discouraged by this though. Little progress is still progress. And it’s a billion times better than 0 progress. ALWAYS.

By now you’re probably thinking something like “Oh wow, thanks a lot for this bullshit solution”. BUT CALM DOWN. I’m not done yet. Geez. Try to develop some patience, please.

The point to all of this is that you focus 90% of your energy on project number 1 until it becomes easier. Until it becomes routine. Or, ideally, until it becomes possible to delegate. THAT is your goal. To go so all-in on something, that you can later do it easily and without needing so much of your energy to succeed at it. Almost as if you’ve figured out how to keep the plate spinning on its own, you just need to do some maintenance once in a while to keep it spinning.

Once you’ve achieved that, guess what? Time for project number 2 on the list!

And after that one, project number 3 and then 4 and so on!

You see, you CAN accomplish many different goals. You just need to majorly focus on one of them at a time.

So, going back to the plate spinning analogy, you’d eventually have about 5 different plates spinning at the same time. 2 of them with people you’ve hired to keep ’em spinnin’ and the other 2 just needing some small attention from you while you’re getting the 5th under control.

So, there you have it! It’s a simple solution, but don’t make its simplicity make you ignore it.

I myself ignored this and thought “No. I can’t just focus on one thing. I don’t know what will work, so I need to do all of them just in case only one of them works”.

I felt financial pressure, so that’s what inspired my not-so-smart move of trying to do too much at once.

But you know what was the truth? I didn’t believe in myself enough. I just assumed that most of what I wanted to do would fail, so I sought comfort in numbers. I was just trying to improve my odds, while actually ruining them by wanting to do too much.

So, do yourself a favor and believe in yourself enough to fully dive into ONE thing and just go for it. Believe you’ll achieve it, whatever it is. You’ll forever be thankful to yourself.

Just keep hustlin’, NO MATTER WHAT.

- Dez

P.S. I’m a life consultant and if you need help structuring your workflow or help with planning to get the most productive/optimized week possible, feel free to contact me because that’s exactly what I love helping my clients with. You can check out my official website for more information.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store