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How to Be an Effective Jack of All Trades Part 3: Practice Project Management

February 12, 2019

Being successful in more than one discipline requires discipline itself. It is very important to be supremely organized - or at least functionally organized - in order to be a successful “jack of all trades.”  


I’m a writer and a filmmaker and in order to balance writing novels and directing movies and plays, I’ve learned to develop project management skills. Or, I should say that I’m still learning these crucial skills.


Some of the fundamentals of project management include listing all of the projects you’re working on or plan to start working on, itemizing all the tasks and action steps for each of those projects, and estimating how long each of those tasks or action steps will take.


It is also important to set deadlines for each project. One problem area that many artists continually run into is starting different projects, but then never following through on them. We artists are great with coming up with ideas, but following through? Not so much.


It’s also important to constantly review your list of projects, action steps and deadlines and revise as needed. Sometimes delays will come up that are beyond your control. For example, if you’re writing a book and a beta reader is taking much longer to provide feedback on your manuscript than anticipated, you might have to delay the book’s publication date.


Or if you’re making a movie and it’s taking longer than you thought to secure locations, you may have to push back the start date of filming.


A great article on project management is Elizabeth Harrin’s “10 Strategies for Managing Multiple Projects At Once.”


A great book on project management is “Project Management Essentials: A Quick and Easy Guide to The Most Important Concepts and Best Practices for Managing Your Projects Right” by William P. Athayde, Ruth Elswick, Paul Lombard and Deborah Bigelow Crawford.


This is the third in a series of blog posts in how to be a successful jack of all trades. To read the first post, click here. To read the second post, click here.


(Chris Bournea is the director of the soon-to-be-released documentary “Lady Wrestler: The Amazing, Untold Story of African-American Women in the Ring” and co-author, with Raymond Lambert, of the book “All Jokes Aside: Comedy Is a Phunny Business.”

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