No matter how good your project-management is, sometimes you can’t avoid having several tasks with similar deadlines within the same week. In those situations, I have a simple answer to reduce stress and maximise your chances of completing them all on time…
It’s very tempting to simply pick a project/task (either due to priority, ease of completion, or just at random) and work on it until it is perfected, then move onto the next. Don’t! By doing this you’ll have the other ones hanging over you, nagging away at you in the back of your mind distracting you. Find a logical point to stop the current job part-way, and pick another one from the list and progress that a little bit as well.
This way you ‘nibble’ away at each one evenly and this provides a number of advantages:
- No guesswork: By working on every task, even if it is for a short while, you’ll get a better handle on what’s involved and any potential pitfalls
- Even progression: Each client project gets progressed evenly so that if they ask about it you can provide more accurate insights as to when it’ll be completed
- Prioritisation: Anything that seems simpler than you’d feared can be pushed back a little as you know it won’t take as long to do. Conversely, tasks that are more tricky than you’d anticipated can be pushed up the priority list
- Problem-solving: Stepping away from something if you’re struggling with it, means when you return to it with ‘fresh eyes’ you’ll probably solve it very quickly
- Reduced stress: All of the above means that you have a better understanding of your day/week ahead and can be more relaxed, and even more productive!
A word of warning
Of course, I’m not suggesting you simply flit like a butterfly every few minutes from one job to the next. That clearly won’t be productive and you’ll end up confused. BUT, if you can pick a logical break in the project (or when you’ve hit a brick wall) switching to a different task can work very well. We use this to balance our client projects and internal Pixooma tasks all the time and it may be one reason why we are able to provide a consistently high-quality service as shown in our Google reviews.
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