Managing Work as a Manager

Does anyone have any tips or tools on what to use at work to stay on top of projects? I’m a new manager (this new role led me to discover I have ADHD) and I’m drowning. One out of the many things I’m really struggling with is keeping track of my stuff let alone all my staff. I bullet journal and that’s great because I list things out but It’s like it’s missing the part that helps to manage multiple projects with multiple due dates within them.

Thank you! I’m so thankful for this forum as I have only been diagnosed a few weeks. This new role as a manager is insanely challenging for me and my instinct is to run but I need this job.

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I’d suggest trying to find a mentor, either a supervisor or another manager, to try to learn from. I’d also look back on what helped you stay organized in the past and remember to keep doing those things. There are several books on management and middle management that can be helpful, but it’s probably more useful to start developing a list of tasks that you find challenging, regular questions, or even frequent mistakes. Those can be broken down and problem-solved around. :slight_smile: Congratulations on the promotion! You’ll do fine!


The only really practical advice I can offer is leverage the skills of your team. The most successful teams I have worked in is where the hierarchy is reasonably flat. Including when I am running my own teams on projects. Some people need their hands held others not so much. But everyone usually has something they prefer to do. Find out what that is and try and let them. That might relive some of the workload in dealing with general day to day people problems. It doesn’t work long term but it might buy you some time to settle in. As said above try find a mentor having someone to go to for advice will help a heap.

Remember they gave you the job because they have faith in you. You will do great and remember to try and enjoy it even the hard bits can be fun.



Friendly greetings @ChrissyWin and congratulations. I am happy for you getting the opportunity to shine. Can you rely on any past background or knowledge regarding your new role? Either way, I share happily everything I know and have learned during my own career. I also collected helpful stuff. Take a deep breath, I know it can be freaking exciting awesome to be in charge.

One very important thing I have learned. To become a good leader, one has to learn leading oneself to lead others. And I can tell you that leading ourselves remains the biggest challenge we face in life. That’s said regardless someones natural being. With knowledge and power always comes responsibility too.

I’ve seen people having misconceptions about leadership and management. They are very close and go often hand in hand. Management is best describe as a tool set that influences efficiency, to say performance. Leadership on the other hand is best described as a set of skills (also vision, values, mindset etc.) which influences the effectiveness and the outcomes. To succeed you will need both efficiency and effectiveness. Doing the things the appropriate way and doing the right things at the appropriate times. Hopefully I don’t tell you about something new. :blush:

As a human, manager and team leader it is useful to keep in mind that one often doesn’t know all the answers and / or facts. One doesn’t have to know all the answers, too. Trust is an important factor. Trust in yourself likewise in the abilities of every team member. Results are just an outcome. Your role makes you responsible of the people, who are responsible for the results. Creating an environment in which people feel save, even they make a mistake, is often enough not done. They are often enough shouted at rather than letting them also finding the solutions and take responsibility. To fix what went wrong and learn from it. So they may never repeat it. Chances are that they will surprise you and come up with stuff that is better than all what you would have done or thought of.

Methods and techniques are just the tip of the iceberg. Any you already know of and / or practice? Which structures, which routines have you already implemented for yourself? I would be happy giving you useful hints, tips and tricks.

If you are in search of a role model, I point you to Simon Sinek. Also a fellow brain and a bright spirit. His public lectures (Ted and other) are easy to find. Let me know, if you need help picking the cherries.


If you can, delegate as much as possible to the people you manage but make sure they are following through. Schedule time to meet with them one on one once a week, for a few minutes. Then increase or reduce frequency depending on how they are handling their responsibilities. That is, hyper focus only where it is needed but otherwise keep a light touch. If it is useful in your field, have a weekly or biweekly (every other week) meeting of the whole group. Lastly set up a daily meeting with yourself! That is, spend 5-10 minutes every morning or at a fixed time to go over your own tasks. These meetings are inviolate and should be time limited. If you have access to a whiteboard, allocate a column to keep track of critical tasks for everyone. Check them off as they get done. That way the whole group knows the status of where things are. And remember that for us “out of sight is out of mind” so it really helps having this list visible all the time. These are some of the things that helped me when I had to play the role of a manager. I of course didn’t do these things consistently initially but over time it became better. I also walked around talking to people so I usually knew think where people were doing well or needed help. But still the regular meeting helped my team members feel it was their time and they were being heard. And they were not afraid of telling me when I screwed up! Which was also when I could delegate some more :slight_smile: or at least have a discussion on how we could do things better. In listening to them when talking to people outside the team, it was satisfying to sense their pride in the team and their feeling of ownership.

To summarize, regular meetings, talk to people, don’t try to do everything yourself, delegate and be open with your team members. And make progress visible to all.

Remember too that ADHD can be a strength in that you will come up with new ideas and your own way of solving problems. So hang in there. Also, as suggested by others, if possible, find and accept help from a mentor.


Yeah externalizing things is a really good method to pull things into sight. It opens the chance to recognize patterns, risks in an early stage, allows correcting a course and so on. It can take many many forms (intern networks, clip charts, whiteboards, boards, organizing folders etc.). Sometimes it requires a bit of experimenting what works the best of managing data and information. Making it better accessible for oneself and / or others. It depends, which solution is best suited for a need, for an environment. Also keeping in mind that micromanaging processes don’t help anybody. It is most likely a origin of frustration. So finding a good recipe requires sometimes patience and always good communication.

Sometimes one gets lucky and can start a role with a good base already existing, sometimes it has to be build from scratch. I hope for the first. Building good structures is kind of an art, I like to think. Personally I got better aiming for the good mix and not to overdo or underdo something.

¦<-- to little or less till none ---- good mix ---- to much, to high -->¦

Practice and remaining open minded.

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Well, since you bullet journal @ChrissyWin, you might could tweak an old practice I used to do in my first semester back then. I liked to have an quick overview of deadlines or hot weeks. I compressed the data using symbols and colors. I kept it to a brief bare minimum, course the little details were written out in a week or day anyway. I used my 2020 template to show you, how it could look like. And I generalized it. Maybe this can be an inspiration for your own quick view, if you like to have one anytime at hand.

You could use erasable pens like for example the FriXion products of Pilot or just erasable color pencils. Many options out there.

Thinking of it, hmm, I might bring it back to life for myself. Could be useful next year, even I don’t bullet journal. :thinking: We will see, how it goes.