I am a believer in the power of project management.
As a professional project manager for nearly twenty years, I have witnessed project success drive business results. I have also proven that project management can change lives and help achieve personal transformation. Now I am sharing some practical tips and techniques that you can use to help achieve your own personal goals, live your best life and become a PM Believer.
Reduce the Suck
It was a stressful time for an important project. The team was encountering many high-impact issues that were going to cause a delay in going live. Like most projects, a delay in going live means that costs will also increase. Compounding these issues was the fact that the team all had to suddenly switch to working remotely because a global pandemic was threatening the health and safety of everybody. This was not an easy moment for the team.
It was time for the weekly project meeting when the large project team would be reviewing the issues. Everybody joined the virtual meeting and it was time for the project manager to kick off the discussion.
What do you think was the first thing she said?
She told a very groan-worthy dad joke.
This may sound like an inappropriate and unprofessional decision, given the state of the project. But, the entire team laughed and you could feel the team’s tensions reduce a little bit. Then they moved ahead with the planned agenda and they had a very productive meeting. As Victor Borge said, “laughter is the closest distance between two people.”
In all projects, business and personal, there will be stressful moments. That’s just how life works; things can get deadly serious very quickly. Part of a project manager’s job is to do whatever possible to cut through the stress to keep it from negatively impacting the project.
Great project managers try to help their teams enjoy the journey, especially when it is a long and difficult journey. Said differently, when things start to suck, good project managers make them suck less
This is a tool that can also help you achieve success in your personal goal projects. When you enjoy the journey to your goal, you have a higher tolerance for the daily ups and downs, the stressors. Enjoying the journey helps you like what you are doing and keeps you motivated.
There are lots of ways to help you (or your project team) enjoy the journey a little bit more.
- Laughter: As I mentioned above, humor is a good way of doing this. Getting people laughing triggers the release of endorphins, known as the feel-good chemicals – who doesn’t want that?! Are you ready to be your project’s stand-up comic?
- Success: Setting and achieving milestones along the journey leads to a feeling of success, which drives even more success. I call this the success snowball.
- Competition: A little friendly competition, even against yourself, is a good way to bring a little more motivation into the project.
- Fun Time: Taking a pause to enjoy some fun is another way to relieve some stress. This helps everybody enjoy the project a bit more.
What other ways have you found to make the sucky times suck a little bit less? How do you work to enjoy the journey in your projects?
Are you ready to be a PM Believer?
Some moments in projects can suck! Projects can be difficult and stressful and can become unpleasant. One thing that great project managers do is to help de-suck the sucky situations. If a project manager helps the team enjoy the journey, they are more likely to stay the course and reach their destination. This is especially important when “the team” is just you.
How have you applied project management for your personal success? Tell me about it at OperationMelt.com and make sure to join my email list to have updates delivered to your inbox weekly.
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Want to know more about how I changed my life with project management? Pick up your copy of my book Operation Melt: How I Used Life-Changing Project Management to Lose Over 100 Pounds In Under a Year.
About Operation Melt
Operation Melt started as a blog to share my personal transformation and weight loss story. After achieving success with that goal, Operation Melt has evolved into a platform to help inspire, motivate and equip people to achieve their own personal and professional goals so they can live their best lives. My vision is to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.