Juggling multiple projects

I am currently juggling several large projects, as well as some small ones, and it is quite an exciting and busy time for me. This is the main reason my blog posts have been few and far between this past couple of weeks.

I am experiencing a period of intense motivation and innovation at the moment. I have no idea where it came from but I feel a certain inertia to keep going, to ride the wave and see where it takes me (ok, maybe that was a bad choice of metaphor, as most waves end up crashing into the shore, but you know what I mean!).

As much as I love “riding the wave of enthusism” (ok Jim, step AWAY from the metaphor!) it is a lot of hard work, long hours and a little bit of frustration of not getting things ready as soon as I would like.

My present situation let me to wonder how others deal with the pressure of juggling projects, when different people are pulling you in different directions. Do you get frustrated or overwhelmed?

Do you wish you could finish one job before starting the next, or are you good at juggling multiple things at once?

Personally I tend to do quite well under this sort of pressure, when expectations are high and timescales are tight.

I do however find it very different when it is myself that puts on the pressure. If i have one project I can get stuck into it, but when I have many I tend to focus on one at the expense of the others, and because there is no client associated with these other projects I do tend to allow them to drift.

So, I am interested to hear how other people deal with “multiple project madness”.

Do you work better when a project is your own, or when it is attached to a client? Does “juggling” make you excited, or frustrated?

7 replies
  1. Lyndi
    Lyndi says:

    I am glad to see it is not only the ladies that are good at multi-tasking. I enjoy being involved in more than one project at a time. It is true, doing things this way could lead to one not giving each project all the attention it should receive but still I prefer doing things this way.

    Scheduling is of course the secret to successfully completing multi projects. One has to draw up a realistic schedule and then stick to it come hell or high water.

    I like your analogy of a wave. Ride that wave, if it slips out under you there is always the next one.

  2. Jim
    Jim says:

    Thanks Lyndi, I’m sure nobody knows more than you about how much effort goes into running a blog. I am always amazed about how much great content you consistently put out. Makes me inspired to try harder.

    Great analogy about the waves there too!

  3. Tertius
    Tertius says:

    Agreed about riding the wave. Each wave a like a project. When it’s finished you’ll remember the work that you’ve done. Then onto the next bigger and better wave!

    Though if you’re working on your own projects you finish riding the waves and then you’re onto the beach with a stronger heart (from paddling) and a nicer tan.

    I like the bursts that you’re talking about, though I have to push to work on my own projects!

    For scheduling I try GTD, it’s working for me, consistency is key though.

    (Preaching to myself…)

  4. Jim
    Jim says:

    @Tertius: I must say I had to Google GTD. Interesting concept, I am off to Wikipedia now to read up a bit more. The various different methods of getting things done are fascinating.

    Thanks for the comment!

  5. gill
    gill says:

    i manage projects daily, some to my schedules other ones to the schedules of others. This doesn’t often work well. So i have to be firm with them, as clients, contractors and treat them all as people too.

    The one thing to remember is to not forget at the end of the day you are only human and can only do so much in a space of time. And you also need your own time to do your things.

    When things get too much, i turn to my veg patch and turn all phones, computers, anything work related off, and enjoy the break. You work more effiently after the break and often have a clear head with more interest in what is to be completed.

    For example i run my own business, manage 20 propeties, a rental site, my own site, another business web site, and run the house and 3 children and a partners schedule for his business all in a foreign country.

    So i know stress. I find also planning one day at a time is best!!!! So good luck.

  6. Zoe
    Zoe says:

    At any one time I’ve got about 12-15 clients at work (I kid you not) so I have to be good at juggling! I work best when I’ve got structured projects with deadlines so I can prioritise my month, but I set my own SEO/Copy/Adwords/etc plans for each client so the structure is down to me! It’s funny you writing this post because I got to the stage recently where I was pretty snowed under – whoever shouted the loudest got my attention. I had to take a step back and really prioritise work with each client so everyone knows the timetable. I work in a small department so I don’t even want to talk about when other people go on holiday leave. Let’s just say it was stressful!

    The thing is, I’m an employee so I have to self-manage and keep on top of things. My own projects like my blog come second out of necessity, which is why I can go a week without posting sometimes just like you! If I’ve been copywriting all day or updating the company blog the last thing I want to do is write for my own. It’s a shame really, but at work I’m learning all the time and having clients means I can cut my teeth and hone my skills so I can’t complain.

    To answer your questions then – I work better when it’s a client’s project (because it’s my job!) and I relish the challenge of juggling but get stressed if it gets too much.

    Hope your motivation sees you through your projects – if they’re successful it’ll all be worth it and you can tell us about it afterwards! 🙂

  7. Jim
    Jim says:

    @Zoe: I know what you mean… even worse than not posting for a week, I have (as in this case) been slow to respond to comments too! Funny how you can go so long with very little on, then all of a sudden it’s madness LOL!

    Sounds like you’re being kept pretty busy though, got to be a good thing, especially in the current climate! Nice one!


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