It’s Monday morning, you sit down and boot up your computer, and the first thing you notice is that everything is due NOW! What do you do? I find that deadlines are usually manageable if you can properly organize and prioritize your tasks. Sometimes it may even be necessary to delegate work to accomplish everything you have on your plate. My intent with this blog is to demonstrate how to manage multiple deadlines with the least amount of stress possible. Organization is so very important. Some projects are short and sweet and take minimal time, while others can last for months. Workloads may be light or heavy for the durations of these projects, so it’s important to prioritize the order of importance for your deliverables.
My advice is when you find yourself struggling, list all of your projects on hand. Make sure you highlight which deliverables are hard deadlines and which are more flexible. Once you have your tasks prioritized, assign timeframes to them. It’s my experience that over-estimating works best in case you run into problems.
Next, make a list of the items that need to be accomplished first, based on the time frames assigned. If something is due 4 months from now, it does not need to be on this week’s list. Once your schedule is in place, share it with project managers or those in charge of your overall performance. If you are the boss, then maybe talk with your employees to ensure the tasks will be performed to standards, in proper time.
Always keep in mind that what you do may affect others. If you don’t complete your work, then it may not be possible for the next tier to complete their part in the project. Communication is the key here. Have a game plan for error. If you know that you are behind with a deliverable, and can justify why this is the case, document your history and provide it to co-workers or managers. Teamwork has the ability to resolve so many issues. The brain power of many often times overrules the power of one.
The main points here to managing multiple projects successfully:
- Organize – this demonstrates you have a plan
- Define the scope of workload for your projects
- Track each project independently – the more you know about each project’s status, the better
- Prioritize your time reference for each project ahead of time, if possible
- Update yourself and others on your progress
Sometimes it’s easy to get a running start to a project. Define the scope early, delegate tasks, and while the pieces of the puzzle put themselves together, you can work on something else.
My main point to all of this is to focus your energy in the most positive way. Define your biggest priorities at early stages and work on urgent deadlines as they approach. Stay positive in your role and always remember that you can either ask for help or even turn down work if you are in overload mode. Of course this isn’t so easy if you are the boss, but you can also turn to wonder Virtual Assistant companies such as IMPACT virtual services, and let us do the work for you! Hey, I had to get that in there, right?! Good luck!