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How do we manage our overlapping and simultaneous tasks?

Study guide

One of Aria’s clients asked him to deliver a project by the end of the week. The problem is that Aria has another project in hand that is ironically more urgent. It is not possible at all to be able to complete a pair of projects on time. How can he tell his client that his project is not as urgent as the one he has? Can he do this without getting upset with his client?

Just like Aria, each of us has different experiences of multitasking. In this article, we want to teach you how to deal with these simultaneous demands so that you can both manage your priorities properly and keep others satisfied.

When priorities are intertwined

Surely you know what happens in this case. If you want to work faster or do several things at once, the quality of your work may be sacrificed. You may even see that you delivered the job much later!

It is not unlikely that you will have to work long hours and late to get everything done. This method may be effective in the short term, but in the long run it will be nothing more than stress and lower performance.

What this all means is that those who trusted you will be dissatisfied with your career, and as a result, your reputation will be affected and your professional relationships will be jeopardized. Eventually, you may miss out on a variety of opportunities; For example, your boss will not entrust you with interesting and exciting projects, or your clients will not come to you for future projects.

How to manage overlapping and simultaneous demands?

1. Schedule tasks effectively

The first step you need to take is to clearly define your current priorities and then have a useful and effective plan.

This will give you an idea of ​​what you can do and when. Then you can set a more realistic delivery date, and when someone comes up with a new project, you can manage their expectations properly.

Sometimes you can’t really fit in a program. At such times, one obvious solution is to delay tasks that are not as urgent or less important.

But sometimes you may not know exactly which tasks and projects have the highest priority. If this is your problem, here are some tips to help you prioritize more effectively. Read Prioritization for more tools.

One of the best and most useful tools used for prioritization, Eisenhower Principle of Importance / Urgency Is. This method is very useful in deciding which things really need to be done now.

When setting your priorities, make sure the priorities are aligned with your project owners, boss, and clients, and that they meet their needs and wants to an acceptable level.

Once you’ve figured out your priorities, add them to your to-do list or work schedule and add them to your schedule. You will then find out what overlaps, which ones need to be rescheduled and for which you will need help.

As new things come to you, prioritize them and add them to your schedule. In addition, regular review of prioritization allows you to make the necessary changes in a timely manner.

2. Negotiate to change deadlines

Once you’ve identified your priorities, take a look at your to-do list and see which ones need to be rescheduled.

Sometimes it is very easy to change the delivery date; For example, you go very easily and say to the person in charge of the project: “I am working on a project for Hamid that is needed until noon. “Can I deliver your work to you at five o’clock?” But sometimes it is necessary to delay the delivery date for several weeks or even convince the project manager to deliver the work in several parts and in a few times.

Sometimes, through win-win negotiations, you can make a fair deal and both you and the project manager come out satisfied.

It is also a good idea to explain to the other party why you have set your priorities in this way and to acknowledge the consequences of not changing the deadline. Of course, this does not always work; A client may not be too happy that his project is being delayed in favor of another client!

3. Manage the expectations of others

Before accepting new projects, it is important to consider what the project manager expects of you.

For example, if your boss wants to give you a new project in the near future, let him or her know about your current priorities first, and then set a delivery date for the new project that fits the amount of work you have now. Or, for example, if a new client comes to you, but you are likely to start their project late, be sure to let them know right away.

This information is also required for projects and work that you already have. For example, if you fall behind schedule in the middle of a project, be sure to let the person in charge know that the project may be delivered a little later.

Of course, this should not become a habit! Estimate the time correctly so that the dates you set are realistic. Also, before you go immediately and let the other person know that you are late, first make sure that you have done everything you can – even if you have worked late – to get things back on track, but you have not.

4. Be professional

Dealing with the expectations and priorities of others can create a lot of stress. With all this stress, you may feel exhausted, and in that moment, it is very easy to be tempted to be aggressive with others, ignore the delivery date, and feel sorry for yourself.

This is where professionalism comes into play. Especially in these times when there is too much pressure on a person, it is precisely this profession that shows the personality of the person to those around him.

Learning how to properly manage emotions is also really helpful for such situations.

5. Be flexible

The world is not always to your liking, and sometimes it may not be possible to change the project delivery date or get help from others to get things done. So you need to be flexible and, where necessary, invest more than usual to keep others happy. Just be careful not to overdo it!

Defend your prioritization

Sometimes when a person wants to change the priority of tasks, others may not agree with the choices he has made. If this happens to you, try to reach an agreement on a date that is right for both you and your project manager. But if that was not enough and the other party insisted that his project was more important than the rest of the work, then you would have to defend your own priorities; Of course, preferably so that your relationship with the other party is not strained.

For example, let’s say you go to your coworker’s desk and let him or her know that you can’t finish the report you want earlier than tomorrow. This is because your boss has asked you to do something that will take up your time all day. However, your colleague is not, because he says that it will not take more than half an hour to complete this report. In his view, your work is really irrational!

Show empathy before each word. Tell him you understand why he is angry and why it has broken his nerves.

Then explain your needs clearly but boldly. Repeat to him, for example, that you should have completed your boss’s project by 5:30 p.m. Because you promised the boss, you need to focus on doing this project.

Once you have stated your needs, look for a way to satisfy him as well: for example, you can promise that the first thing you will do tomorrow morning is deliver his report. Or say you are willing to help her with another task during the week.
Here’s how to put one together for use with your pros and cons, while maintaining a good relationship with your co-workers.


How do we manage our overlapping and simultaneous tasks?

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