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Multiple Projects: How Can I Manage Five Projects at Once? | Video

Multiple Projects: How Can I Manage Five Projects at Once? | Video

‘How Can I Manage Five Projects at Once?’ I hear a variation on this question a lot. It could be three; it could be ten… Multiple Projects: five will do.

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‘How Can I Manage Five Projects at Once?’

There is a simple answer.

And, I’m afraid, it’s glaringly obvious. Yet it’s no less valuable for that.

One at a time.

The human brain is ill-suited for multi-tasking. And trying to do five things at once will cause you to slow down and make more errors than you needed to.

That gives you two approaches…

Either:

(a) First find your top priority. 

This is your most compelling cause, by value, urgency, pressure, or some combination. Deliver on that immediately. Then repeat.

Or:

(b) Segment your week into big chunks. 

Some people use half-days (10 per working week), others use four chunks per day (2 per half day). I use 5-9am, 9-1pm, 2-6pm. Allocate parts of your five projects into these segments, with a balance that reflects your priorities. Set clear targets for each work period and ensure you create a proper break period to recharge, between each one.

In your recharge breaks, get some: movement, fresh air, daylight, water, food. This way, you will be able to sustain a hefty work rate during your working days. 

Mono-tasking

Multi-tasking does not work, but mono-tasking does. Option (a) is pure mono-tasking; while option (b) is what I call ‘serial mono-tasking’. Another way to think about it is with hats.

Multiple Projects = Multiple Hats

When you manage each project, think of yourself as wearing a different hat. One for each project. At the end of your recharge break, deliberately visualize yourself swapping hats from one to another. That way, you’ll have mental clarity about what you are doing.

There are lots of other strategies I use…

And if you need to manage multiple projects, and want to learn them, you can. I’ve put them all into an article: 

Secret Strategies to Manage Multiple Projects

And you may also like this video: How to Manage Multiple Projects


What Kit does a Project Manager Need?

I asked Project Managers in a couple of forums what material things you need to have, to do your job as a Project Manager. They responded magnificently. I compiled their answers into a Kit list. I added my own. 

Check out the Kit a Project Manager needs

Note that the links are affiliated.

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For more of our Project Management videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management.

For more of our videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management

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About the Author Mike Clayton

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.

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