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Juggling a Complex Project and Overwhelmed?

Can we all have a transparent moment? Sometimes it feels like the more you do, the less actually gets done and the frustration is real. There, I said it! I know firsthand the stress of a complex project and not enough time. Over the years, I’ve developed a few pro-tips to help reduce some frustration and stress. Take a look: I’m sure one or two will help you out.

Filter priorities: If everything is a priority, nothing is priority. I used to believe that an hour to review timelines and chart a daily checklist was a waste of time. Well, turns out it’s not. I’ve realized that breaking larger tasks into manageable pieces gives me something specific to focus on, instead of trying to tackle a huge project all at once. Also, breaking down tasks provides an opportunity to really see what’s lagging and provide regular, meaningful updates to leadership.

Schedule time for deep thinking: Trying to juggle projects and various tasks on the fly is the optimum way to unintentionally fall behind. Also, it’s easy to keep pushing off the things you really don’t want to do. To combat this, I schedule two-hour blocks of time for specific tasks that take real brain power and focus.

Communicate project timeline: Energizing team members and partners will require early-and-often communication of project status and timeline. I know sometimes it feels like you’re a broken record giving updates on your projects. I would offer that it’s delivering a consistent message. Your communication requires more than one or two emails, or soft-pitch updates. Just like you get a flood of emails from your favorite store about a great sale, that’s the level of marketing you should provide about your project and updates. This allows key stakeholders to offer support or help reduce barriers.  

These are tips to help reduce stress and frustration. If a project timeline is out of your control based on funding, manpower or technology, don’t try to figure it out all on your own. Communicate with your leadership, and always try to present a viable solution. Even if the project is stalled, your transparency, communication and leadership will be valued and remembered for future opportunities.

Treva Smith is a federal human resources, diversity and inclusion, and business operations professional, with over 33 years of service. Treva enjoys advising and mentoring individuals navigating their career paths to meet identified goals. She specializes in career planning and personal branding, and is certified to instruct Business Etiquette through the distinguished Protocol School of Washington and a certified Global Career Development Facilitator through National Employment Counseling Association.Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Photo by: Image by Stefan Schweihofer from Pixabay

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