14 Critical Signs Your Company Has Too Many Projects

An increase in workload is an indication that a company is doing well in a market. However, if the capacity of the current team is not factored in alongside growing responsibilities, a company may find itself overwhelmed with work and unable to ensure it gets done on time.

To help call back and shift focus before efficiency flags, 14 members of Newsweek’s expert panel each share a critical sign that an executive or company has too many projects going on at once.

1. There is no work that really gets done

If the workload feels like it’s increasing but nothing is getting done, look for areas where projects overlap and identify opportunities to consolidate tasks. Do you have multiple team members working on similar projects? How can you improve efficiency by streamlining assignments? Can data collection be done once to support multiple projects? Work smarter to improve results and morale. – Afira DeVries, Monarch School

2. Your team can’t focus on tasks

A sign of too many projects is when team members are constantly being pulled in different directions and unable to focus on one task. This can lead to poor quality work and employee frustration. Try to pull back or shift focus to take stock of all projects and prioritize the most important ones. Then delegate and outsource what you can to ensure staff aren’t spread too thinly. – Umang Modi, TIAG, Inc.

3. You experience lag and repeated errors

When projects are delayed or simple mistakes are made, it is likely due to a lack of resources and the abundance of work in a company. The best way to address this is to check in with staff so they can raise concerns and reassess who has time. There is a need to manage expectations and create a schedule to shift focus. Acknowledge with your team what is a priority and create a plan to get those tasks done. – Paul Miller, Miller & Company LLP

4. You have dissatisfied customers and employees

Dissatisfied customers and employees are good signs that the people involved in the company or vision are not satisfied and will most likely lose passion or abandon ship. A successful leader remembers that without loyal customers and employees, companies are destined for chaos, disorganization and turnover. – Leah Marone, Corporate Wellness Advisor

5. Your memories are foggy

Signs of overwork can include blurred memory and a struggle to remember information. This means that human-first leadership best practices are deprioritized. Instead, pause to reflect and redirect. Just like Disney’s Frozen character Elsa says, “Let it go.” – Sabina Pons, Growth Molecules

6. You are not present for your employees

One sign of this is that managers never have time for their employees. Outsourcing is a great solution for executives or business owners to regain control of their business and be more visible. – Tammy Sons, Tn Kindergarten

7. They collect only superficial insights

Under-distribution often results in superficial insights rather than an executive’s ability to delve deep into individual projects. The ability to delegate is a crucial trait of all leaders as they need to build trust in their teams to ensure there is a strong support bank among them to see projects through from start to finish. – Faisal Pandit, Panasonic Connect North America

8. There is duplication

Watch out for duplication of effort due to isolated efforts. Ensuring a horizontal view of all strategic imperatives and transformational efforts will enable an integrated strategy to ruthlessly prioritize and streamline efforts. – Britton Bloch, Federal Navy

9. Your projects are getting too old to finish

If it is no longer fun to complete the projects, this is a clear sign that you are overwhelmed. Surrounding yourself with the right people and empowering them by giving them more responsibility can go a long way. Everyone involved will grow and find enthusiasm for new things that they enjoy. – Krisztina Veres, Veres Career Advisor

10. You have an overbooked calendar

Check the calendar. Is it several weeks overbooked and has no time for creative thinking and networking? Is there no down time to recharge? Are there meetings and projects planned that someone else can handle on their own? Create space for critical thinking and creative thinking. – Margie Kiesel, Avaneer Health

11. There is no time for passion projects

When a leader doesn’t have time for the projects that matter most to them, that’s a red flag. Enthusiasm and determination make a job meaningful, and making time for work that is personally important to us is crucial. One solution is to give your employees more autonomy and decision-making authority. Give up a little control to build trust with your team while buying time. -Paul Goydan, BCG

12. Your project manager needs a support person

If your project manager asks for a support person, you probably need to check your current bandwidth. You don’t want your main person responsible for maintaining the checks and balances to get stressed. Keep in touch with them to make sure you have your finger on the pulse. – Chris Tompkins, The Go! Agency

13. You consistently receive negative feedback

Listen to your customers and encourage their positive and negative feedback. Negative customer feedback is a good indication that you need to reevaluate your workloads. To shift focus, prioritize your work projects and make the needs of your customers and employees your top priority. – dr Abraham Khoureis, DrAbeKhoureis.com

14. You lack resources to do something new

Many companies take on too much because there are always new things to do, but we rarely have the extra resources to carry them out. Use the Start, Stop and Continue (SSC) approach to become more disciplined. SSC is an approach to managing your projects where a new project cannot be started unless something else is stopped. Scoring each project with SSC increases discipline. – Krista Neher, Boot Camp Digital

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