Best Practices for Managing Projects

Handling projects, especially when there's parts that need to be completed first before the entire project is done, can be a bit overwhelming. But with some organizational tips, any project can be tackled more easily. Here's some helpful tips:

  1. Do any prep work beforehand. Are there any skills or training you need to know first? How much time out of your schedule will it take to complete? Will you be working on a team or alone? What is the deadline? Knowing these upfront will help you decide if the project is right for you and this also applies to business, volunteer work, or church ministry. If you don't do your homework first, you could commit to something you can't fulfill later on. That can also cause stress if there's a team of people who will depend on you to perform your part. Better to be honest and turn down a project rather than take it and realize too late that it's too much.
  2. Divide the project into parts. Creating a to-do and/or task list and outlining all the pieces that have to be done is a great way to tackle the project or position. You can use an organizer or planner to help you. Will someone on the team be responsible for meeting a certain deadline? Write this down so you know when certain tasks are to be completed. That's what I do to stay on top of my projects.
  3. Are you the team leader? If you will take the role that requires hiring or assigning others to the team, try to pick the right person for the right job. We all have strengths in certain areas so I think it's important to have team players that are comfortable in their role and like what they're doing. This in the long run makes the job easier and pleasant.
  4. Don't forget to take breaks. We forget sometimes that we need to step away and recharge at times. So don't forget yourself especially if you're a workaholic like me!
Project planners are great to keep track of your tasks and to-do's. I highly recommend getting one when you have to stay on top of appointments, meetings, and any deadlines. But if you don't have one, that's okay because a simple writing tablet will work. Or you can also buy those tablets with the dividers in them if you're working on several projects. And, you're sure to find these at your local dollar tree stores. I actually prefer having a tangible planner because I like writing things down plus I carry my planner with me so I can easily jot things down when I'm not at home.

But if you'd rather use a digital planner, you can search for planning projects or organizer apps in the iTunes store for Apple devices or Google Play on Android to find the one that's right for you. Two apps I know of are: OneNote which I have on my iPad and it's a great app to help you divide projects. You can create tabs within your projects to put in to-do lists and mark them as they get completed. The other one is PlannerPro both available in the iTunes store. I've not worked with this app but it looks promising and both are free.

The point is not eating the whole pie, but one slice at a time! These steps might seem simple, but believe me, trying to manage projects without a game plan is not just overwhelming, it's stressful and in the end it's not much fun.

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