It’s a New Year, and for project managers this means client’s schedules have started fresh. Long hours, gallons of coffee and post-it notes lining your desk leave you thinking, “there has to be a better way!”

A few simple changes in your daily routine can have you sitting back and breathing easier…at least long enough to eat your lunch.

Don’t Procrastinate
The old saying “don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today” is true. Coming in an extra ten or fifteen minutes early each day to update your traffic will greatly reduce that feeling of being overwhelmed. It is a daunting and time consuming task but being able to print traffic at any time and know it is accurate will help you schedule those last-minute jobs that come in. Updating your traffic not only keeps you on schedule but also keeps the design team’s schedules up-to-date for other project managers’ scheduling needs.

Prioritize your tasks
If you always feel like you are barely keeping your head above water in your projects, you might need to take time to list all your projects out on paper. Sometimes just knowing everything you have happening at one time can give you a sense of control; then you can prioritize based on deadlines and scope of work. This will allow you to have the “whole picture” view instead of trying to just make today’s deadlines.

Don’t sweat the small stuff
One of the most important qualities of a project manager is the ability to accept change. Every change or request that comes in doesn’t have to ignite panic mode. Even if the turnaround time is just hours away. Approach the team honestly and openly; with the details in order for completion. Your attitude can make all the difference, even with intense projects.

Project Managers are the glue that hold projects together. The most important thing is that you find what works best for you. Simply knowing your peak time for productivity, not procrastinating, prioritizing your tasks and not sweating the small stuff will all keep you level-headed for a productive new year.