Over the course of a given working day, it’s likely that you’ll have a number of different projects to work on, and — if you’re anything like most people — you’ll find that you feel a sense of stress and overwhelm developing pretty regularly when you’re trying to juggle multiple different projects at once.
Depending on your line of work, your professional projects may range from taking the time to learn more about parking lot maintenance and sealing, to figuring out how best to address supply chain issues that your business is facing.
Ultimately, the more you can reduce and manage your stress levels while getting your professional projects done, the higher the likelihood that you will be able to do your best work in relation to those projects, while also being more enthusiastic about your job as well.
Here are some tips for getting professional projects done with less stress.
Always keep the next step in mind
If you’ve spent any time at all investigating business task and project management and productivity-boosting techniques, you’re bound to have come across David Allen’s famous “Getting Things Done” system.
The “GTD” is something that many highflying executives around the world swear by, and its main strength seem to lie in the fact that it helps individuals to rapidly filter different incoming tasks, to assign them to appropriate project categories, and — perhaps most importantly of all — to always have a “next action” lined up for each of those projects.
A huge amount of time and energy gets lost as a result of a lack of clarity about which actions to focus on at any given time. By always keeping the next step in mind with any project you are working on, you can sidestep a lot of that stress and keep moving forward.
Maintain momentum and don’t get too caught up in abstraction
For many professional projects, it’s all too easy to end up getting totally lost in abstraction and planning, to the extent that you never actually get around to the part of the process where things start happening.
Trying to calculate all of the variables of a given initiative, or to plan a project out in perfect detail from point A to point B, can be an insidious trap that leads to analysis paralysis, and that clouds your perspective.
Of course, do your due diligence. But work on generating and maintaining momentum instead of getting caught in the abstract planning stage for too long.
Work in focused bursts with as few distractions as possible
Many people pride themselves on their ability to multitask, but one of the interesting findings among psychological researchers is that attempting to “multitask” is not only inefficient and leads to errors, but it also generates a lot of stress.
By working on each project in focused bursts of time, with as few distractions as possible, you will be putting yourself in a position where you are not only significantly less stressed, but are simultaneously also much more likely to get those projects done in an effective and timely manner.