How do you choose what to work on next?

Categories Work

I haven’t posted for a while, and this is one of the main reasons why. I’ve been trying to think about too many things at once. Even though work is moving forward all the time, it’s become counter-productive to focus on many things at once.

I’ve been dealing with it for a while, and it’s getting more time-consuming than ever as projects grow and develop. How do I choose what to work on next when I’m working on multiple projects, each at different stages?

I’m managing and trying to grow an existing and established product, I’m working with a team to develop and launch a brand new version of an existing product that could potentially be a big hit, and I’m working on smaller tasks all over the place as I keep track of support, e-commerce issues, plugin translations, and more.

Apart from all that, a big part of my job is ensuring the team is running smoothly and doesn’t lack anything needed to move forward every step of the way. It’s stressful at times, but I love the problem-solving side of it.

So where do I start? How do I pick what to do next?

Many times I’ve taken a step back and focused on one task at a time, but at times like these, some projects are nearing their final stages while others are just starting. Both are very important stages of a project, so finding a balance has been the toughest part.

If you’ve experienced this in your own work, how have you handled it?

Do you know of any books or podcasts that discuss this?

2 thoughts on “How do you choose what to work on next?

  1. Of you need to concentrate on one of many issues it’s best to shut off access from emails / social media etc for a number of hours as required by the job in hand. This does not mean shutting off from the world for a week, but you can for example wotk on the subject for 2 /3 hours and then break for 1 hour to deal with urgent issues. Then start again for a number of hours. You may decide to dedicate more hours while being “shut off”, depends on the urgency of your job in hand and the urgency to react to other distractions. Definitely, to be more productive in today’s world, there is a need to shut off from all media so as to concentrate on the job. There was an article about being more efficient without multitasking but I can’t trace it.

    1. Thanks Rob! If you find that article, let me know. I’ve been forwarded a few other articles and books about this too. I’ve used that technique to some extent previously so I definitely need to give it more importance.

      For anyone wondering, there is an app for Mac users called SelfControl that shuts off access to any site you tell it to for a period of time, and there’s no way to shut it off, which works great!

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