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Agency Life: How to Manage Multiple Projects

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Part of agency life is working with a number of brands across multiple industries. Accordingly, you will face times where several projects pop up at once. This can send your stress levels through the roof. Well, before you go and stress binge on those donuts in the conference room, you can relax! There are ways to reduce clutter, improve productivity, and manage deadlines.

Here are 4 steps to help you balance multiple projects:

Set Your Priorities

The first step is to determine your priorities. I’m not saying that any one project is more important than the others. What I mean is deciding which task can come before the others. Each project will have different benchmarks and deadlines. Figuring out the steps along the way is integral.

Take a few moments to identify the individual tasks under each project. Remember to keep dates and deadlines in mind. Write them out so that there won’t be any surprises along the way.

Plan Your Schedule

Now that you’ve identified important tasks and dates, it’s time to plan your time out. I find that it’s easiest to visualize your project flowchart. Example:

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 10.48.16 AM

Based off this flowchart, you can create your project work schedule:

  • Project C (task 1)
  • Project A (task 1)
  • Project C (task 2)
  • Project B (task 1)
  • Project C (task 3)
  • Project B (task 2)
  • Project A (task 2)
  • Project B (task 3)
  • Project C (task 4)
  • Project A (task 3)
  • Project B (task 4)
  • Project B (task 5)

Assign a date to each task (whether it’s set in stone or just a personal goal). Save a copy of the flowchart and work schedule to your desktop or print off a hard copy. This will help you stay on task.

Don’t Multitask

This one might seem counter-productive. Isn’t the whole point of balancing multiple projects the ability to multitask? While it’s efficient to juggle multiple projects simultaneously, it’s not smart to work on multiple tasks at the same time.

Being truly effective on a project requires immersing yourself into the brand identity of the client. It’s hard to do this when working 2 or 3 different brands at once. Budget out your time for each project and focus solely on the task at hand. If there’s a time-sensitive task, switch gears to focus on that rather than trying to complete it on the side.

Hit Your Deadlines

When all is said and done, you need to keep your eye on the prize. If you’re behind on your schedule, be mindful of the tasks or projects with the closest deadline. Re-prioritize your schedule to fit the new demands. If necessary, try to dish out some responsibilities to your colleagues in order to stay on task. Those with less on their plates should be happy to help out.

The art of balancing multiple projects takes some time to master; however, it’s worth the effort. This is a useful technique to have for any field. Just remember to set a few moments aside before kick-off to plan out your strategy and set up your schedule. This will make things infinitely easier.

Jeromy Ko is a brand analyst at The Social Firm – A full-service Digital Marketing Agency in Columbus, OH. He specializes in brand development, digital advertising and business development. He is currently doing his best to break into the mobile application market.
Jeromy Ko is a Brand Strategist at The Social Firm – a full-service digital advertising agency in Columbus, OH. His specialties lie in developing brand strategy, digital advertising and account management.

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