Last week we discussed how to conquer feeling overwhelmed at work. People are busier than ever before yet feel like they are not doing enough. In order to beat this feeling we need to establish then follow a formalized process. The second thing we went over last week was what questions to ask when starting a new project. By asking those questions we were able to find out if projects are being started with the intent to finish them.
These questions should also be used to prioritize current projects. Think of your own portfolio, do any projects have start dates more than a year old? What about three years old, or even five? Don’t worry you’re not alone. We all bite off more than we can chew. It is part of human nature.
So what do you need to do to make sure your tasks are achievable?
Having major projects that are never going to be completed stresses managers and employees out. During the prioritization of major projects team members say things like, “no it doesn’t support our strategy at all, but it’s a really nice project.” Remember human nature means that employees and managers often tie their worth to the number of projects on their list. This makes prioritization very difficult. It is one of the key reasons we generally avoid real and meaningful prioritization.
Keep in mind that more priorities can be accomplished over time if you tackle less at any one time. Increased productivity with decreased stress is good association management.
Eat The Elephant
We have all heard the expression that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Mark Twain said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”
Big, complex actions do seem overwhelming until they are broken down into something manageable, measurable, and achievable. You need to determine the best process for eating your elephant and then stick to it.