We’ve all been there; the moment you get your workload to a manageable amount, your boss pulls you into a big new project. It can be a challenge to balance work and the rest of your life, and it only becomes more challenging if you feel like you’re buried at work. If you manage all of your projects in the most efficient way, it will allow you to feel less stressed at work and more relieved in your free time, too. Here are some tips for managing multiple projects effectively:
Break down projects into tasks
Even with one large project, one of the best practices is to break it down into smaller tasks. This becomes even more imperative if you are juggling multiple large projects at once. To make the project more attainable and less daunting, split it up into smaller, time-bound tasks. If your projects are split into tasks, it allows you to conquer a few parts of each project each day, which keeps you on track and able to deliver on your promises. If you are having trouble breaking parts of your project into smaller tasks, ask a boss or coworkers for insight. An outside perspective may be helpful in breaking down projects into small, actionable items.
Create a timeline
One of the best ways to keep you organized on multiple projects is a timeline of when different aspects of your projects need to be completed. After you’ve broken down your projects into smaller tasks, create due dates for each task to keep you on track. Creating and sticking to a timeline will help prevent that last-minute rush to get all of your projects done. Even if you fall behind, you’ll know sooner and be able to plan for it rather than getting to the final deadline and not having a finished product. In the best case scenario, your timeline will help you finish your projects before your set deadline, which will impress your boss and free up time for another project.
Ask for help
Yes, your boss assigned you the project, but that doesn’t mean you are the only one that needs to work on it! Delegating tasks is a sign of leadership and sensibility. Especially in times when you have been assigned a high volume of projects, your boss should not expect you to get there all on your own. Ask your coworkers to help you complete simple tasks or for their input on how you should tackle a tricky assignment. If your coworkers have specialties, use them to your advantage by asking for their help in that area. This not only helps you to finish your projects on time, but it helps build relationships in the office. If you do enlist your coworkers for help, make sure to return the favor when they are in need.
Don’t get in too deep
If you are feeling overwhelmed – it’s normal! Take a deep breath and think about your next steps. If you have taken the initiative to try and plan out your projects, but still feel you have too much work, it may be time to have a conversation with your boss. It’s one thing to have a heavy workload while a few projects are underway, but it’s another to be completely drowning in work all the time. Approach your boss about the amount of work you have been given without sounding too frustrated. You should express concern for not hitting all of your deadlines and stress you are honored your boss trusted you with so many projects. In most cases, your boss will realize how much work you really do have and take something off your plate.
Managing multiple projects is an art. Everyone needs to find what works for them. Following these tips will set you on a track to successful project management!
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