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How to Prioritize Multiple Projects

Prioritize Multiple Projects

First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.
~ Aristotle

When we’re stressed out and swept up in the daily grind of workflow, trying to A-Team our way through, occasionally a pile of problems can seem like one too many. Here are some things you can do to help better prioritize multiple projects and lessen the burden on yourself.

You can only work on one project issue at one time. Decide which task is the most urgent, then focus on that specific project issue. Trying to juggle multiple projects all at once can get messy. It will also cause issues where details are missed when you have not been able to give them as much focus as they should have.

When in doubt, make lists. Everyone from homemakers to global entrepreneurs use lists, and they work. Break your project elements into lists. Use whatever list-making method you’re used to, whether it’s your phone, laptop, or even going old school with (gasp) a notepad or memo notes.

The art of writing down what needs to be done and the specifics of your projects will help mentally clear what needs to be worked on now. Focus on what you can do now, instead of struggling to juggle it all. Remember, you can only get so much completed in a day. You are only human, so keep a healthy distance about workday hours. You need to give yourself the right work-life balance. Get as much as you can do on the project that needs to be worked on for the immediate future, then tackle the rest as you go down your list.

Take Breaks

It cannot be stressed how important it is to take breaks, as mentioned in previous posts. Giving yourself time to focus on things not directly related to what you are working on can clear your thoughts. Regrouping will give your mind the time to work out other solutions to problems that you are trying to work through, as well as ideas for other projects that you have to work on later. Make sure you allow yourself to be flexible and adaptable as well; nothing will ever go exactly the way you want it to, but by harnessing your internal locus of control and estimating which project is the most pressing, you can deal with it more effectively and finish the other projects.

Stay focused, and keep calm on what you can finish in one day. Working relentlessly on one project for hours at a time without any break or brain breaks will not only drain you, it will end up making the project less effective, which can damage your focus. Overwork and burnout will not help you or the client in getting that project completed.

With all you have on your work plate, you can’t afford not to prioritize. Make an investment in your productivity by taking a step back to refocus and strategize.

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Sebastian Moran on Github
Sebastian Moran
Sebastian Moran is a WordPress performance expert and technical liaison for MainWP.
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