A situation that I’ve encountered frequently when working in SEO is being confronted with more tasks and projects that demand attention than I physically have time to dedicate to them. This isn’t necessarily specific to any one role either, I’ve encountered it when being a link developer and a team leader as well as when I’ve been responsible for project management and account management, although it does tend to be amplified the more responsibility you have. This makes sense – when you’re in roles of greater responsibility your tasks are generally more crucial and your workload is less prescriptive and more changeable.
Of course, this isn’t a problem exclusive to SEO project management, it’s a common conundrum across most businesses and any situation where you have a number of tasks and a finite amount of time to complete them. It’s also rarely something that you can avoid ever happening through advanced planning. You can certainly mitigate the risk and minimise the potential for it to occur with good planning and proactive work ethics but there will always be factors outside of your control which result in critical tasks clustering together and unexpected tasks suddenly appearing on your to-do lists that weren’t originally accounted for.
The danger here is of tasks running over deadline which may result in missed opportunities, disappointed clients or terminal knock-on effects of a wider project, so it’s important to know how to effectively deal with the situation when it arises.
So what do you do when you’re faced with more to-dos than you can complete? As it’s something I’ve frequently encountered, I’ve developed some simple rules for dealing with the situation when it does arise and when I’m over-subscribed with tasks I employ three tactics for prioritising and dealing with them which are Delegate, Relegate and Communicate.