Signposting is a creative exercise I’ve been doing with my postgraduate students for the last few years. Most people don’t do this when they’re planning a big project and it’s so powerful when you give it a go. It makes you look at how long a project will last, and how much time you have to spend on it. Do it in an honest and pragmatic way, and you’ll end up with a plan that shows you (roughly) when you’ve got time over your year to do the stuff you love to do. By the way, the blog posts in my series on finding time to do the stuff you love are linked out from here.
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What is creative signposting?
Signposting is a project management tool. It is supposed to be used with flexibility and is something to ponder over and adapt. The plan or schedule you produce at the end is not supposed to be stuck to rigidly, neither is it supposed to be another SHOULD in your life. I encourage you to revise it as you go. I also encourage you to stick it up on the wall so you can see it.
Use signposting in conjunction with time tracking and you’ll end up with a much more authentic plan.
Understanding the dimensions of your project
The other side effect of signposting is that it makes you realise that there’s more to your project than simply getting down and doing it. You need to allow for every stage, including breathing space and planning time, plus the project management bits that you might not actually like doing. You’ll also want to factor in some time to get an overview of the whole thing.
How to signpost
So how do you signpost? You create a goal: I will build my own house, for instance. Then you decide what the halfway point would look like, what the quarter way point and the three-quarters way point would look like. Keep breaking down the goal until you know what you’d have to achieve in six weeks’, three weeks’ and one week’s time. That way you build up a picture of how to finish your project. By the way, you don’t have to do this over a year – pick the most suitable time period for your project. A large year or two or five year to view wall chart works when you’re signposting – especially good as you can keep it where you can see it.
Get your free Small Steps Signposting Tool here:
Happy signposting. x
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