Project management can be tricky. It reminds me that one of my clients opened up Asana yesterday and had 38 tasks due, plus another 14 that were overdue. She felt overwhelmed (of course!!). 

Immediately, she started thinking:

  • Where do I start?
  • Do I have enough time to finish everything?
  • Do I have the mental capacity to finish everything?
  • Am I a failure if I can’t get everything done?
  • Will I have to skip dinner and family fun night to work on this list?

Since her mind was spinning – her decision-making ability was severely compromised, so she just looked at the first task, did it, and moved on to the second.

Which meant she was in reactive mode instead of proactive mode.

Granted – she was getting stuff done . . . and slowly but surely moving through the to-do list. However, she may or may not have been making a lasting impact. She needed some project management crisis training!

When you find yourself in a project management crisis, the first thing you can do is work through the 4D process:

  • Delete – do all of these tasks actually need to be completed? What goals do they directly support?
  • Defer – does this task need to be completed now – or would resources be better at a different time?
  • Delegate – can someone else on my team do this task?
  • Define – can someone else on this team do SOME of this task, and I just do the rest?

Next, look at the remaining tasks. Prioritize by impact. Which tasks will have the most significant impact on:

  • Your business (which ones move the business forward the most?)
  • Your clients (which ones help them the most?)
  • Other team members (where are you the bottleneck -that they can move forward once you finish your task?)

Finally, consider your capacity: 

  • How much time do you have?
  • How much mental space do you have?

THEN – prioritize your to-do list and start working.

In an ideal world, you are able to do weekly and daily planning, so your list doesn’t get this long and overwhelming. However, we live in the real world, so sometimes this happens.

If you’d like to reduce the number of days you feel overwhelmed by your to-do list, let’s talk. One-on-one coaching may be the solution to your unique needs.