Managing one project at a time can be stressful enough, but try managing several projects simultaneously – this is where real difficulties start to emerge. Luckily, there are certain steps you can take to help you get more organized and efficient when managing multiple projects. Let’s learn something about them.
The best thing to do, before you start anything else, is to plan ahead. So, take your time, have your morning coffee, tea, whatever you need to fuel your brain, and start planning. Make sure to know your priorities, and how much time you need for each task. For some people, it works the best to deal with the toughest tasks first and save those less demanding for later.
Schedule your time
Make the most of your time. Plan your time ahead, make an appointment with yourself, pick a project and give it your full attention. This will help you stay focused on the chosen task, at least for a short period of time, and it will make you more productive. It’ll help your thoughts stay in one place, and your brain will work better, without having to worry about other projects. So, you should simply block your time for that project and hold on to it.
Don’t let anything distract you from what you are doing at the moment and stay focused on your current task. For example, listening to your preferred music helps me stay focused on what I am doing. If you love silence, just find yourself a quiet place, or simply do anything that helps you stop racing thoughts and staying on point.
Assess your workload regularly
Follow up on your project plan or time schedule frequently. Consider some unexpected time loss may occur - some projects might take more time then you have predicted, so you will be behind with other tasks. You can avert that by checking up on your to-do list or some other strategy for tracking project progress.
Having trouble accomplishing everything? Delegate! Share your workload with your team, or a trusted colleague. Assign them tasks, even the whole projects, but don’t exonerate yourself completely. As IED Barcelona's current Master Degree in Service Design explains, this field should encourage an exploratory attitude, self-organization and abilities to collaborate in cross-disciplinary and multidisciplinary teams. Just make sure you are still involved in the whole decision-making process, and you will be certain that the work will get done.
Support the project plans
The best way to do this is by using the project management software. This will help you keeping better track of your project progress. Use milestones to mark the significant dates in your project plan and make sure everything is done and submitted before the deadline. Having this kind of information helps you prevent possible time loss, in addition to lowering your stress level when a busy time comes.
Keep an eye on progress
Many things can go wrong if you have a lot to do, and just not enough hands, eyes or time to keep track of all those things. With this in mind, you should block your time to review all your current projects and make sure everything is going just how you have imagined it would.
Stay open to embracing change when it comes to your time schedule. Like we said before, some projects are more urgent than others and sometimes, despite your effort to pursue your schedule, you will need to attend some other task and spend unplanned time on it. This is considered inevitable when it comes to managing multiple projects, so just stay flexible and don’t panic if it comes to that.
These tips should help you in managing multiple projects successfully. Even if you encounter certain issues in the process (and, trust me, you will), you should be able to solve them with less stress and worries.