Being a project manager is a highly visible role that can be both satisfying and stressful. Consider these steps you can take inside and outside the workplace to help you keep your cool under pressure.
Inside the Workplace
- Define the scope. Nail down what you want to do. Analyze how your plans fit in with your mission and abilities. Be clear about the details. Otherwise, a project can keep growing bigger and bigger, eventually becoming overwhelming.
- Focus on quality. Successful companies put quality first. Cutting back on costs and labor can only go so far. Thinking in terms of value and quality sparks more inspiration and less tension.
- Consult experts. Reach out to colleagues who have done similar work. They’ll know what you’ll be going through and will probably have some good advice.
- Limit conflicting activities. Maybe you’re already working at full capacity when you take on a new project. Establish priorities so you concentrate on the most urgent matters and stick to a sustainable schedule.
- Assemble a strong team. Know the skills you require and the roles each team member will fill. Build a collaborative culture by being generous with praise and thanks.
- Commit adequate resources. Ensure your team has the tools you’ll need to succeed. Do your research so you can justify your figures to senior management and customers. This will lessen friction and increase their confidence in you.
- Share information. Be transparent with your team. Let them see the schedule and how help assess how actual performance is comparing with projections. Greater knowledge and participation leads to better solutions.
- Communicate with stakeholders. Mid-course corrections are sometimes needed. Inform customers and other constituencies as soon as possible of events like schedule changes. Frequent communication works wonders.
- Perform evaluations. Learn from every experience. Audit your activities along the way and at completion. Assess your strengths and the areas you want to improve.
Outside Your Workplace: Rejuvenating for Your Best Work Performance
- Go offline. Get in the habit of disconnecting. Tell people what hours they can reach you and reserve the rest of the time for yourself and your family.
- Exercise regularly. Physical activity gives you more energy. It’s also one of the most constructive ways to manage stress. Play music you love to make working out even more enjoyable.
- Eat well. You’ll feel more resilient when you eat a nutritious diet. Consume plenty of vegetables and fruit each day along with lean proteins and healthy fats. Carry around a water bottle to sip all day so you stay hydrated.
- Get adequate rest. You need sufficient sleep to function at your best. Try taking a brief nap during the day if you have difficulty setting aside enough time at night.
- Develop a relaxation practice. Select a soothing activity that works for you. You may prefer daily meditation or a weekly massage. Welcome yourself home by playing gentle instrumental music or take a warm bath before bed.
- Practice breathing. Correct breathing is an instant stress buster you can use anytime and anywhere. Slow down and inhale deeply through your nostrils from your diaphragm. Let the air slowly release through your nostrils. Repeat several times.
- Rely on your support network. Warm and loving relationships are the best antidote for stress. Spend time laughing and sharing meaningful activities and conversations. Find comfort and strength in your family, friends, and spiritual community.
Tweaking your project management style will enable you to produce better results and feel more at ease. The key is to set realistic goals, foster collaboration, and take care of your health.