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Managing Time When Working on Multiple Projects

I’m often working on a lot of projects at one time.  I’ve been asked how I manage multiple projects.  Now, i’m not saying that i’m the BEST at managing time.  I can get just as distracted as the next guy but this is my typical process.

I use a handwritten list of things that need to be done.  The list has two columns.  Status & Task.  Once the task is completed I put an X in the status column and highlight the item.  The goal is to have the whole page highlighted by the end of the day.  At the bottom of the list I have 3 grey rows for urgent items.  I print out 30 days worth of task lists so I can assign things to certain days.


  • Work on one thing at a time.  Try NOT to multitask.  I find when I work on one thing at a time I tend to get more done.
  • Close all windows on your computer that you aren’t using.  Open windows make me more easily distracted.
  • Keep your workspace clean.  I get more done with a clean desk and a clean desktop.
  • Don’t listen to music.  I tend to get more done in silence.
  • Get the annoying tasks that you want to procrastinate on done first.  It helps motivate you to get through your whole task list.
  • Avoid sites you DON’T need to be on to get the job done.  Designate a certian amount of time to BSing on the sites you love.

Have anything to add?  Share in the comments!

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  1. Lately i’m using a tool called teuxdeux – for my todo lists. Its free, simple and does what is must do. I also used paper, but with normal lists it’s not that easy to list your tasks for each day and with this tool it is.

    Why don’t you use a software tool?

  2. While your tips are nice I don’t agree with the non music tip. It’s more fun to dance while working. I seem to work much faster when I’ve got a good beat to write to. I also use a system outlined in the Todoodle book. It’s ASSUME. I’ve been using this system for about 2 years now and I notice that my work has become much less stressful and easier to manage as well. I’d really recommend you check it out. :)— Love your blog..

  3. Good info on managing time. I do like music on though. Thanks!

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  5. “I’m often working on a lot of projects at one time.”<—–ouchouch.
    "Don't listen to music" <—or, listen to the music that IMPROVES your work(/research stuff). And, multitasking is impossible; good call.

    "Get the annoying tasks that you want to procrastinate on done first."<—YES. Use some other task, on the list, like a carrot; that you get to enjoy after doing the annoying stuff.

    About avoiding sites; I'd say, just disconnect from the internet if possible. You can write, what you have to write, in word; and then open firefox again (takes no-time).

    ALSO: put a kitchen timer, and don't do anything less-than-productive before it rings.

  6. Great post. I’ve been through all the computer, online tools and spreadsheets.

    You have it right! I find with todo lists that the easier the better.

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