The 1-Month Project Plan to Boost Your Productivity: A Guide
When working on creative projects (anything that involves creating something, such as cooking, building, painting, or coding), I recommend setting up plans that are one month in duration.
I am a big advocate of 12-week-year project planning1. It’s a great middle ground between long-term planning (more than a year into the future) and short-term planning (one week or month ahead). 12-week planning allows you to allocate enough time to make significant progress, while still being able to keep the entire project in mind.
So, why consider a 1-month project plan instead? One-month and 12-month plans are not mutually exclusive, but they focus on different aspects of achieving goals. I like to aggressively time-box goals to force myself to make tough decisions early on. With too much time, we may be tempted to increase the scope of our project beyond our capabilities.
A 1-month project plan is focused on creating a viable, complete, and self-contained results within a short timeline.2 This doesn’t mean that the final product will be finished in one month (for that, we rely on the 12-week plan), but it does mean that we will have something complete and end-to-end by the end of the month.
So, why do this at all? Here are some reasons I can think of:
- You can break down large projects into manageable chunks.
- You can see progress and check things off at least once a month.
- It increases motivation by allowing you to see constant progress.
- It allows you to regularly take stock and assess whether you are still on track to your main goal.
- It even allows you to pause projects without leaving too many loose ends. The project will be “completed” to some degree.
However, don’t get caught in the trap of process over progress. Pilot new methods without committing to them. Take what works for you, adapt it, incorporate it into your own processes, and move on.
Above all, always be creating.
The 12 week plan is based on a book called The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington. It’s all about setting goals and objectives for a 12-week period and then breaking them down into weekly tasks.↩︎
Aka “Minimum Viable Product”↩︎