Sometimes we don’t realize that we’re behind on projects until it’s too late. You think you’re on top of everything in your inbox until someone calls to check the status of a task, and you realize that you’ve missed a deadline. Or you’re certain that everything on your desk is organized until you find those folders buried under other folders and realize that there are things you’ve forgotten. If the projects at work are multiplying and you’re struggling to stay organized, it’s probably time to devise a project management plan. It’s never too late to dig out from under the workload. It just takes some strategizing to get back on top of things.
Utilize Project Management Software
Project management software comes in many shapes and sizes and there is surely a Monday.com alternative that will work for you. This type of software can help you track each project and keep an eye on deadlines and accumulating costs. Dedicated software can help you to collaborate with colleagues on projects, and can provide transparency to management throughout the workflow. Consider investing in this type of management tool if you are consistently collaborating with multiple people or departments on a variety of projects. You will benefit from having a dedicated space for seeing all of your projects and being able to monitor their progress.
Even if someone gives you a project without a deadline, set one for yourself. Without a concrete deadline, projects can languish on your desk or in your inbox for too long a time. As soon as you receive a project, take the time to determine how long it should reasonably take you to finish it. Put that date in your software or on your calendar, and hold yourself accountable to it. Finishing projects and “putting them to bed” is an essential part of effective project management.
Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize
If you have the autonomy to prioritize project deadlines yourself, make a point to do so effectively. Don’t necessarily work on each project in the order you receive it. Consider who is asking for the project, and consider who is waiting on your results. Many managers who receive small projects prioritize those in front of lengthier ones to get these smaller tasks out of the way quicker. If there’s a small request that you’re afraid may get overlooked if you put it off, do it as soon as you receive it. There is value in prioritizing and your managers and colleagues will appreciate you taking the time to do so effectively.
You can set your projects up in the software and set manageable deadlines. You can prioritize your tasks and have a clear idea of what you need to work on next. However, none of these tips will work if you don’t have the self-discipline to stick to the plan you make for each project. All the planning in the world won’t help if you fail to implement it. If you hold yourself accountable for following these tips, you’ll be able to stay better organized and accomplish projects on time and successfully.