It’s both a blessing and curse: Agency life is fast-paced.
Some days that means you can reach your state of flow, but others it feels like drinking through a fire hose.
When you’re juggling tons of projects at once, you’ve got to manage them like a pro.
These four tips can help you control as many variables as possible and optimize for efficiency.
1. Set aside time to test and fix.
You know the saying – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. From designing a simple webpage to building a complex app, you’re bound to hit a glitch here and there.
Most digital marketers insert placeholder time slots for testing at the end of their project timelines as a formality, but many forget they’ll need to fix the problems unearthed during that time.
If you want to avoid stressed teams and flubbed deadlines, ensure you’re reserving enough “fix and verify” time before the due date.
2. Create internal deadlines.
Your client or stakeholder is expecting your report by noon? Great–set an internal deadline for noon the day before.
This lets your team review deliverables, get up to speed on everyone’s contributions, and make adjustments (we see you, tiny typos and wonky spacing!) without all the runaround and heartache.
3. Be proactive.
Or, in other words, don’t wait for people to approach you with issues. They won’t.
Occasionally you’ll come across team members who bring up issues unsolicited, but often people assume someone else has considered the details or that you’re already aware of their roadblocks.
No matter how approachable of a leader you are, you need to make sure you’re practicing proactive communication to avoid letting problems snowball.
4. Know your team members’ competing priorities.
And then work with other stakeholders to resolve these, if possible. Balancing multiple accountabilities is tricky, especially when your point people disagree on which action items take priority.
Being aware of your team members’ full workload, rather than just what one project looks like, clues you into potential overwork before it affects your deadline. If you can help them create a pecking order for tasks, even better.
They’ll be thanking you when they can minimize abrupt context switching and unnecessary stress.
The great news is that these methods are simple to implement.
Good design saves your team time and money, so it makes sense to map out a project management style that is proactive and human-centered to maximize efficiency for the bottom line.