When I worked as a graphic designer at a printing company, I took over two positions. A graphic designer and a receptionist. They said answering phones would be a group thing. But, they only answered the phones when I was away from the desk.
A print shop is quick turn-around times. Sometimes I would be changing a name on a business card. Sometimes I would be creating whole brochures from scratch. I usually had about 10 projects going at once in different stages of development. Each year things got busier and busier.
This is when I started looking at simplifying and systems. I was completely stressed at this job.
What I loved having for my projects was a stepped wire file rack.
I also had a simple sheet of paper with the projects, deadlines, next steps and where I was at with each project. It made organizing my day much easier. I would look at this sheet of paper and organize the projects on the file rack for which I wanted to do first.
I would work on the first one until I had enough time on it or I had moved to a part that I needed something from the client. I’d post where I stopped and the next actions on my sheet before moving on to the next project.
In the middle of projects I would need to answer the phones, talk to a walk in client or get stuff from the fax machine. I would put post it notes on the file so I knew what I was in the middle of doing when interrupted. This made it easier to get right back into the projects.
I still work this way now that I work from home. I post the next step for my project after working on the project and before moving on to the next. This keeps projects moving.
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I’ve got a lot on my plate today. As I’m sitting at my lunch break I’m thinking of all the little projects I have to get do e. just need to enjoy the break and take one thing at a time. http://simplypresent.wordpress.com/
How do you keep it all on one sheet Beth? Do you have a sheet for each project or is it more of a spreadsheet? I am always looking to improve my systems and know I have a tendency to make things more complicated when trying to simplify!
If it is a simple project, I just post the next step to take on the to do list. When I finish that one, I put the next step.
For longer or more complex projects they either have their own file folder if it’s mainly paper and/or I have the project in Evernote: https://www.evernote.com. I can put dates, next steps, links to web sites, contact people, etc. right in one Evernote note.