If only life were simple, and we all only had one time-sensitive thing to do at a time. Oh how that would make things so much easier! Tragically, we all frequently have to juggle multiple tasks, or projects, at once. This can seem overwhelming, or even impossible at times. How do we do it?
It can help to make a list of everything that needs to get done, and when it needs to get done by. How you like to view this information is up to you. Hard copy list, wall calendar, digital calendar, post it notes, some other way- whatever floats your boat.
Ask yourself which project is a higher priority. What has bigger consequences if it is not completed? Which is harder? What is more time consuming? Which is more fun? Is it possible to take a break from the hard project with the fun project?
How do you know when you are getting overwhelmed with a project? Sometimes when things get to be too much, and there’s diminishing returns on the amount of work is getting done in a time period, it may be in your best interest to take a break. Stepping away for a project even for half an hour can help you once again ‘see the forest through the trees’ so to speak. If you are obsessing over one project with unsatisfactory results, try working on something else, or practicing self-care, then going back to the first project.
The tricky part is executing that switching back-and-forth. What does a successful system for stopping one project and starting another look like? How will you know when it’s time to swap projects? What does successful project juggling feel like? What would it be like to effortlessly go back and forth between projects?
What tools would be helpful? What qualities would the perfect tool for project organization have? Would it have audio or visual alarms? Timers? Is it a wall or desk calendar, planner, or list? Utilize digital notifications, calendars, or planners? Is it an app? A white board? Chalk board? What haven’t I listed that you wish I had?
I’ll talk about establishing boundaries and practicing self-care in later blogs, but in the meantime, it’s important to know your limits on how many projects you can handle. How do you know when your project plate is full? Are you able to ask for help? What’s it like to have a pleasantly full workload versus an over-filled workload?