How to Manage Any Overwhelming, Large Project

manage a large project


Undertaking a large project can be overwhelming and intimidating. That large project could be a wedding, volunteering with an association, starting a business, or completing a major work assignment.  The size and complexity of the task can paralyze your thinking and prevent you from getting started. Here are some effective strategies to help you manage any overwhelming, large project.


Start with a Clear Plan

The first step in managing any large project is to create a clear and detailed plan with deadlines. Break the project down into smaller, more manageable tasks, and create a timeline for completing each one. Make your timeline visual to help you see the steps along the way to manage anxiety and perfectionism. Work backward from the original deadline to ensure completion ahead of time. This will help you stay organized and focused as you work towards your goal. Use project management tools like Trello, Asana, or a Gantt chart to help you keep track of tasks and deadlines.

Assess obstacles

No project goes along without a glitch. Assessing these challenges early in the project will help you be aware of situations that will arise. Be prepared for needing additional resources to complete the project. The obstacles also include competing projects, changing timelines, and unclear outcomes.

Prioritize Tasks

Not all tasks are equal in the amount of time required, the resources needed, or the placement in the timeline. Prioritize your tasks based on their importance and deadlines. Focus on completing high-priority tasks first, and then move on to less critical ones. This will help you make steady progress and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Early on in a project you have the most energy, enthusiasm, and resources to use. Be sure you are front-loading the most important tasks so make significant progress early in the project.


Break it Down

Breaking the project down into smaller, more manageable tasks is crucial. This makes the project seem less overwhelming and allows you to focus on one task at a time. Divide the project into smaller milestones, and celebrate your achievements as you reach each one. This will help keep you motivated and on track. Use your tracking tool


Use Time Management Techniques

Effective time management is essential when managing a large project. Distraction and complexity come into play in any project. Use techniques like the Pomodoro Technique and time blocking to help you stay focused and productive. Set aside specific blocks of time to work on your project, and eliminate distractions during these times. Regularly monitor your progress. You can identify issues with time management by assessing how long parts of the project are taking and re-evaluating your original plan. You can adjust and adapt accordingly when monitoring regularly.


Collaborate and Delegate Responsibilities

You may have been assigned this project solely, but don’t go it alone. Bring in team members as needed to learn new skills, build energy, and move forward. Delegate tasks to team members or enlist the help of friends and family members if possible. Working as a team not only lightens your workload but also allows you to benefit from the skills and expertise of others. Routinely over-communicate, review resources, and bring together any loose pieces as you work together on the project.


Celebrate Successes

Celebrate the milestones along the way. Each step is an important step so acknowledge this. Treat yourself to a moment of gratulations, a small reward, or a celebration with your team to mark each step as well as the completion of the project. Assess what went well, and what could be improved on to learn best about project management.



Navigating Project Overload: Finding Your Capacity (Especially with ADHD)

managing project overload and determining capacity


It is common to find ourselves juggling multiple projects simultaneously all the time. Whether at work, school or in our personal lives, the demands of life usually require us to wear many hats at once. Finding the right capacity and balance between productivity and overwhelm can be a challenge, especially for individuals with ADHD. We typically have too many projects to do well and without stress. Here are some strategies for managing project overload, determining your capacity, and tracking tasks effectively.

Understanding Your Capacity

Capacity refers to the maximum amount of projects or tasks you can effectively manage without becoming overwhelmed or experiencing a decline in performance. It’s crucial to recognize that this threshold varies from person to person and can even fluctuate based on factors such as stress levels, life transitions, emotional regulation, and sleep quality.  Your capacity depends on your self-awareness of how much you can handle. It also depends on the level of performance you expect of yourself and the amount of time required to meet your project goals.  Often the only signs you have of reaching capacity are feelings of anxiety and stress. For people with ADHD, there can be some magical thinking being limitless. Enthusiasm for possibilities is exciting. Big projects such as creating a beautiful home environment and DIY solutions to house projects can lead to too many incomplete projects and stress. Knowing your capacity plays a part in this.


Strategies for Managing Project Overload

You might have already realized that you are over your capacity. The signals of stress are there. If so, there are strategies to use to move forward.

  • Start by prioritizing your tasks and your goals. Not all projects are equally important, even if that seems to be the case due to emotional regulation. Identify the tasks that are most urgent or important and focus your energy on those first. You can use Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principle or the ABCDE method can help you prioritize effectively. Use your intuition as well as data to determine priorities.
  • A little planning goes a long way. Make your plan using a visual guide. Use a calendar or Gantt chart to help you organize the projects into sequence. These visual aids help you allocate your entire self to one project at a time. This applies at work and at home.
  • Establish micro-steps to chunk larger projects into manageable sections. With each step accomplished, you feel the sense of accomplishment of moving forward. You can use Asana or Trello to help you manage these microsteps.
  • Set aside time each day or week to review your tasks, priorities, and progress. This allows you to make adjustments as needed and ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
  • Once a project is complete, review your capacity. Pause before adding more projects to complete the existing projects. Review what was successful and why and create a system for the capacity you have set.
  • Delegate and collaborate with those on your team at home and work. Ask for help or delegate tasks when necessary. Whether it’s a trusted colleague, friend, or family member, having a support system can make managing project overload feel less daunting.
  • Decide if you not going to complete the project. Can you let go of the parts that have become clutter from the abandoned project? I encourage you to give this some strong thought to do so.
  • Remember that the key to all energy and productivity is your self-care. The foundation of a good night’s rest, hydration, exercise and nutrition make all the difference when you are feeling overwhelmed and overloaded.


Navigating project overload can be challenging in self-awareness and self-concept. Remember that finding the right balance takes time and experimentation, so be patient with yourself and celebrate small victories along the way. With dedication and knowledge, you can conquer project overload and thrive in both your personal and professional endeavors.