Managing multiple projects
Any job that requires us to be across several different tasks or projects at the same time means added pressure on our organisational and time management skills.
Working remotely or part-time can make this juggling act even more stressful.
In this podcast, Elise Stevens speaks to Elizabeth Harrin about her new book, Managing Multiple Projects.
When Elizabeth returned to work from maternity leave, she found that instead of managing a project from start to finish, she was doing bits and pieces across multiple projects.
She soon discovered she needed to change the way she worked and picked up a heap of tips and tricks along the way – enough to fill a book!
Points raised in this podcast:
- If you are used to managing one project at a time then suddenly must manage several simultaneously, you can quickly become burned out and overwhelmed.
- Changing the way you work can help you better manage your time and stay on top of your workload.
- Combining and streamlining some of your tasks and processes will save you time.
- A “two-week look ahead” can help you plan the rest of your life around when you will be most busy.
- Collecting all the important dates for all your projects in one calendar allows you to identify the pinch points and any competing priorities.
- Once you have identified the most important tasks you can adjust your time, energy, and effort accordingly.
- There are many tools available for managing your tasks and calendar, try to find one that fits you and your working style.
- Instead of attempting to push through the burnout and overwhelm, consider having an informed conversation with your boss that helps them get visibility over your workload.
- Know when and how to say no if you are simply too busy to take on additional tasks.
- Many organisations do not make clear which project or task should be prioritised.
- Work is a huge part of our lives and should be at least mildly pleasant, so think critically about the roles you take and the organisation you work for.
Elizabeth Harrin is a project management expert and founder of the website, RebelsGuideToPM.com. An author of seven project management books, mentor and experienced practitioner, Elizabeth prides herself on her clear-eyed view of the challenges facing project managers today.
Elizabeth has led a variety of IT, process improvement and business change projects including an ERP deployment and compliance initiatives. She has spent eight years working in financial services (including two based in Paris, France) and over a decade in healthcare.
Elizabeth is a Fellow of the Association for Project Management and holds degrees from the University of York and Roehampton University. She supports project managers through her mentoring programme, Project Management Rebels and also contributes to a variety of other initiatives including sitting on the advisory board for the RISE Being Lean and Seen programme at Liverpool John Moores University.
You can listen to Elizabeth on previous podcast episodes; How gamification makes projects more engaging and How to be taken seriously.
You can also find Elizabeth at elizabeth-harrin.com or connect with her on LinkedIn.
Click here to buy Elizabeth’s latest book; Managing Multiple Projects.