Ever end up in those crazy busy seasons at work? Where coworkers are pushing their priorities on your to do list? Then emails relentlessly fill your inbox because you’ve been cc’d on all sorts of projects, plus the ones you’re ACTUALLY working on. I know this feeling all too well, it comes in waves throughout the year. It’s even harder to balanced my time when everything is either a priority or urgent.
If you’re like me, you do a small task here and there, then focus on the larger tasks/projects for majority of the day, all while getting distracted by random emails and questions that pop up. It can be very hard to juggle, so how do you prioritize multiple projects?
Well here’s some advice I found around the net:
By making the projects with earlier deadlines a priority. To this I say.. Okayyyy this could work but what do you do when everything is due around the same time or the same day?
To go over your work load and ensure you’re working on the most important items… I agree, good to communicate, but what if your manager doesn’t budge on the timelines?
Don’t get distracted by an email or let you mind wander. Jot down random thoughts or emails that distract you and continue working on the task at hand….I STRRRRUGLE with this one, I search my email for one piece of information, get distracted by all sorts of things in my inbox. Thirty minutes later , I can’t remember what I was originally looking for.
knowing when to draw the line, or give them realistic timeline of when you think you can complete the task. Tell coworkers ”let me get back to you” before saying yes… For me this seems doable, which is why I want to explore this a little further.
I am guilty of being a “can do” person, I reluctantly say yes to every task that pops up because of course I think it’s expected of me because I’m being team player (right…right!?). Telling coworkers “let me get back to you” so I can take time to think about it, will ultimately result in me saying yes. So how do we “can do people” truly consider the requests of others so we’re not overextending ourselves and are realistic about what we can do?
Well after some pondering (…okay LOTS of hard thinking) here’s what I came up with…
Treat each new request like an appointment. That’s right .. an appointment. When your booking an appointment for a service, you and the receptionist both figure out a time that works best for both of you based on openings and availability. As I head into my work week I need to look at the “openings/availabilities” in my calendar for that day I can slip in a “pop-up” project. (Side note: pop-up projects/tasks should not..I repeat.. should not take the place of your one hour lunch! That is sacred time!) If I implement this concept into my day to day work interactions I’ll be less stressed out from overbooking and overextending myself, which could mean my sanity will be in check (yay!).
Also knowing the availability and openings in my work calendar will force me stop making lists and be more specific, detailed and intentional when allocating time to multiple projects.
So that’s all from me! now it’s your turn.
Let me know how you manage multiple projects when you’re at work or home. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Lets help each other be better. Leave a comment below.