Welcome to our latest blog post on managing multiple requests.
In today's fast-paced business environment, it is common to juggle multiple tasks and demands at the same time. Whether you are a project manager, a team leader, an Executive Assistant, or simply someone who wants to be more productive and efficient, this post will provide you with practical tips and strategies for handling multiple requests with ease and precision.
Let's get started and learn how to effectively manage various requests to achieve success in your work and personal life."
Be proactive in planning your work with the stakeholders.
I have received questions from Executive Assistants on what to do with requests that come to them late. The projects are essential, yet the requesters wait until the last minute to ask for support, and then they have to drop everything else and handle these requests. If you experience this, next time, try asking your customers/team members what support they will need from you at the start of the month or week. That way, you trigger them to think ahead and mention those projects that are almost due. And if they do not, they will practice more patience when they come with last-minute requests. For more significant projects requiring involvement, consider quarterly or bi-annual prompts.
Provide a workflow chart/process map with timelines.
If you handle some recurring assignments on behalf of the team, you will likely already know their patterns and how long it takes you to accomplish the specific tasks. Create a one-page guiding document with a list of tasks and possible processing times, so those requesting your service know how long they will have to wait. You can reinforce this by responding to the request with the anticipated time of delivery…e.g., This is noted; you will have it in 3hrs or by COB tomorrow or Friday. Create reasonable timelines and honor them. This way, you build trust and inspire people to follow the process.
Know your team/people.
When you rely on other people to get work done, take some time to study your team. You will know who to go to when the stakes are high and who gives you quality work but needs more time and multiple follow-ups. Develop intentional work rhythms with different players, so you know exactly what to expect when working with specific people. These teams range from workmates, leaders, or service providers you work with frequently.
Have an emergency plan.
Emergencies are a very normal part of the day for people in operations. Therefore, it is wise that you always have a plan you can follow. Analyze the most common 'emergencies and plan for them. I have an emergency toolkit of cash funds, speakers, hoteliers, Travel agencies, etc. Depending on your job, you should know what emergencies come up and plan for those ahead of time.
Remember to breathe.
Since you are constantly juggling, some balls are likely to fall. When that happens, remember, balls bounce 😊.
Bonus tip. Use technology:
There are many tools and apps available that can help you manage multiple requests and tasks. Consider using a task management app or a project management tool to help you stay on track.
This article is written by Brenda Abeja, an Executive Coach who helps Executives and their Assistants improve their effectiveness at work.