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How to Avoid Work Project Overload

Alenka Aust

Project managers are juggling masters. They’re often able to manage several projects simultaneously. But every time you get the feeling that things are under control, suddenly a bottleneck or problem pops up that eats your time, energy and resources. This can quickly cause projects do divert off track. Reasons are usually manifold, but often the problem is simply the workload.

The art of a project management is not only to keep track of tasks and projects, but to also learn how to deal with the unforeseen circumstances that might arise. These problems are a daily occurrence, and unfortunately this is unavoidable. Some motivated individuals enjoy the challenge and peruse a career in project for this simple reason. But managing a multitude projects, increased workloads is possible – especially with the right project management software.

But we also have some other valuable tips for you.

Excessive workload and its consequences

Acceleration has its price; we live in an environment that demands increased speed for output whilst at the same time relying on the limited resources available. Staying competitive means companies and their teams need to work on multiple projects at the same time. But if the project manager is overloaded, projects suffer.

The main consequences associated with overload are:

  • Delays and missed deadlines
    The more projects and tasks a project manager oversees, the greater the risk that deadlines can’t be met.
  • Unpredictability was not proactively planned
    Overworked or overburdened project managers have difficulty proactively anticipating and planning for risks and issues. The less time a project manager has for planning and execution; the more likely things are to go wrong.
  • Poorer performance
    If tasks become overwhelming, the time to address all items is also reduced. As a result, the quality of work suffers.
  • Increase in sick days and staff turnover
    When project managers and teams are overwhelmed, it easily leads to more sick days, burnout and even resignations. But it is usually problematic even before that, because dissatisfaction due to work overload is a harbinger.

So how do you successfully manage multiple projects?

We would like to give you some advice on how to manage several projects at the same time without being overwhelmed.

Delegate
Delegating is hard for most people but try it. Look for experienced people in your team who can take some of the less demanding tasks off your hands. This strengthens bonds and gives you more time to devote to the important things.

Manage the expectations of your superiors
Project managers tend to do all the tasks, no ifs, ands or buts. But if your superiors never find out how many tasks you actually have to do, more and more will be added quickly. Expectations rise. If something goes wrong at some point, incomprehension appears on both sides.

Set priorities

It’s almost inevitable that a few of your tasks and projects will conflict. This is the nature of work. In such cases, it’s important that everyone involved, including senior management, agrees on priorities so you can resolve conflicts faster.

How to manage more projects with the same team size

Often delegating is not possible or the tasks that cannot be delegated are simply too much. If your team members don’t have spare capacity and you’re in over your head, the following 4 tips may help.

Turn down extra work

Learn to say no. It doesn’t always have to be a definitive no! An “it can be done at a later time” is often enough. Accepting additional work when you are already overloaded doesn’t help anyone. It’s not always possible to refuse requests from stakeholders, but if someone comes to you with a new task even though you have your hands full, you should try to refuse the extra work or at least postpone it to a better time.

Improve your time management

You can get more done in less time by improving your time management and reducing distractions. The right project management tool can help.

Implement the right tools

Dashboards and networks give you better visibility into your project, so less time is spent on project updates and status meetings.

Automate

By automating repetitive, less demanding tasks, you free up more time for all project stakeholders to focus on activities that truly add value.\

Project management methods for heavy workloads

There are several project management methods for dealing with high task volume that can keep you from getting overwhelmed:

Track and manage dependencies

By linking interdependent tasks appropriately, you can see how different timelines can impact each other and what options are available to spread the load without delaying the overall project.

Use resource allocation tools

Resource scheduling software will show when you and your team are overloaded. You can identify who has spare capacity and reallocate tasks within the team.

Increase transparency

Tools like network plans, risk scenarios, project dashboards, and real-time reports keep everyone informed in less time. They also help you keep track of all your projects.

Avoid overload with resource management from Allex

Allex is a resource planning solution. It gives project managers the visibility and flexibility they need to ensure balanced workloads and optimal performance. With our network map and team overview, you can manage the capacity of your team members, prioritize tasks based on availability, and plan overall work distribution. Design risk scenarios to detect bottlenecks well in advance and keep track of dependencies on internal departments and external suppliers. This helps you quickly reschedule or reallocate tasks to resolve assignment conflicts and ensure a balanced workload. Sign up for a free trial and see for yourself how Allex can help you avoid work overload on projects.