…Or just in chaos, for that matter. Trying to run accounts throughout the quiet summer months, Christmas, illness, maternity cover, or any extended period of disruption can be challenging. When you’re trying to keep a tight schedule and keep a project on track, you tend to rely on the team around you keeping up their roles, which doesn’t always come to fruition.

From graphic designers to clients, deadlines will be extended, missed, changed and ‘forgotten’. It’s part of the job, so here are some tips on managing it.

1. Here’s the obvious one: be flexible

Someone delaying their task in a process will naturally have knock-on effects. We’re big fans of an old-school Gantt chart to keep projects on track. They’re retro, but they work. They’re also super editable and track live progress, based on your inputs, so delays and rearrangements can be easily incorporated into your project planning. Easy.

2. Become a prolific list maker

Whether PM software, a note on your phone, or good old fashioned pen & paper, nothing quite does the job of a to-do list. Lists of daily tasks, deliverables for clients or itemized call sheets are priceless. In the chaos of even a day’s work, it’s natural that you will forget the odd task. This is why having lists are so important. And is there anything more satisfying than ticking things off of your to-do list? We don’t think so.

3. Use the time you’ve got, wisely 

Chances are, your Summer lull is coming to an end about now. You might get another quiet week, and if so, make the most of it. Prep all of your writing, briefing templates, anything that will speed up your processes when you’re overrun in October and don’t have time to design a new creative briefing sheet. Failure to prepare and all that….

I have found that, although one of the quieter times of the year, August requires more organisation that almost any other time, due to regular debriefing and rebriefing of colleagues, clients and partners. It’s a time for lots of learning, as you look ahead to a busy Autumn.

Good Luck!