When it comes to managing projects, it can get tricky, finding what works best for you to effectively manage multiple projects at once is key. I wouldn’t say these are the only tools to use but they certainly have helped me make the most out of my day.
1. Project Management Software
A project manager must have a system for tracking a project lifecycle and communicating with all the players on one platform. A centralized place to import projects, track time, and pull reports is a great resource when it comes to project managing. Every member of our team has access to this system, from our designers to our president. It allows you to place in individual projects by client name and keep an eye on the progress of what stage it’s at and you can place in notes from the clients or communicate with the designers. One of the best features a project management software system can help you with is seeing an overview of all projects at once. This report is extremely useful in keeping track, sometimes physically seeing all of your projects laid out in a birds-eye view can help you stay organized and on task.
2. A Passion for Time Management
Juggling projects can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be. Utilizing the right skills and learning how to master them can only be to your benefit! One skill for managing projects is time management. When you start a project, one of the first things that happens is the project is typically broken down into tasks, depending on the complexity of the project some can be completed quicker than others. Setting deadlines from the client is also very important, once you know the deadline you’re then able to prioritize and schedule the project in with other running tasks. That’s when time management comes into play, schedule out your day/week, give appropriate time in completing each task – not too much or too little, and STAY FOCUSED.
3. A Commitment to Communication
I find communication to be one of the strongest tools there are, for most anything in life, but especially for work. Communication is equally as important for speaking with your clients as well as your team. It’s important to keep an open line open, your clients should feel comfortable coming to you with changes, questions, or a status update on the project(s). It’s also important to keep your team in the loop too, make sure to give them all the details in a clear and concise way, you are the middle man when it comes to being a project manager, the main source of communication.
4. A Love for Organizing
When managing multiple clients at once, it’s critical to find a way to organize your ongoing projects. With constant changes and new projects being placed in the queue, it can be easy to fall behind. Finding ways to stay organized will help in many ways. Some project managers may keep individual folders in their email and instantly file away emails. Another idea, if you’d rather have physical papers, is to print out important emails and file them away into folders that are readily available to look at. One way that I’m learning to stay organized is to create a cover sheet for each client. This one paper has all of their projects in a table format, with the project name, job number that is associated with the job that you place in the software system, status, and deadline. As soon as I have an update to it, I either write it on the sheet or update it and print it out every couple of days. To me, this is the best way to see all of the ongoing projects within a handful of papers, nothing is missed. Organization can also be a learning in progress skill, you might find that what worked for you in the past no longer works and you will adjust and find new ideas to help.
5. A Good Night’s Sleep
Some people rely on coffee, but caffeine doesn’t do much for me, so I rely on the good ol’ fashion sleep! It may sound silly but going to bed at a decent hour and getting a full night’s sleep can work miracles for you. Nothing feels better than waking up with a clear head, ready to start the day. A positive outlook can change your entire day, not only should it help you be motivated to take on your daily tasks but it is contagious to others!
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