3 Simple Things Project Managers Can do to Make Their Lives Easier

As a project manager, you have hundreds of responsibilities. You have to get the reports out to executive-level management.  You need to hold weekly meetings with your staff. You need to update your software. You need to balance your budget and resources, and you need to keep your sanity.

Project management is filled with challenges, changes, and opportunities for error. Unfortunately, managing all of these things is complicated at best. However, project managers can make their lives easier by taking these three actions every day.

1. Delegate Responsibilities When Possible

The project manager is not responsible for making sure every single task is completed in-person, and his or her project management team is there to help. The project manager should delegate responsibilities when appropriate. For example, an individual should be appointed to manage the budget, while another person is responsible for discussing changes in the daily activities for the construction of floor A.  

Sometimes, a project manager may not be able to delegate certain responsibilities, but trying to micromanage every aspect of a project will lead to project failure, a loss of interest in project management, and the possibility of insanity. By delegating authority and responsibilities to others, the project manager can ensure the critical processes of the project are completed in a timely manner, without error.

  1. Eliminate Distractions

Distractions are the bane of existence for project managers. Unfortunately, the inter-connectedness of the digital world has brought forth an unending number of distractions, and even the most effective project managers will constantly be bombarded with the opportunities to put off work. Unfortunately, this is only going to lead to more stress and lost time for a project manager.

A project manager can make his or her life easier by eliminating distractions in all possible forms. Obviously, shutting off the cell phone is not an option, but turning off notifications for unnecessary features, such as social media updates, can effectively eliminate the social media distraction while working. Furthermore, the project manager has “no” real need to check his or her personal email during business hours, especially when all emails about potential projects go through a different server. The only time to partake in these distractions should be during breaks and when not working.

3. Learn When to Say “No”

In project management, the word “no” has become a bad word. Unfortunately, project managers who always accommodate all requests are more likely to fail than those who know when to say “no”. This could be as simple as saying “no” to advancing a project deadline to an unreasonable time or allowing project creep to double the workload.

Ultimately, a project manager will have times when “no” is not an option. However, executive-level of management will be more understanding of a “no” with an explanation than the lost costs of missing an unreasonable deadline due to a project manager’s inability to say “no”.

By taking these three actions and using them every day, project managers can make their lives much easier. Unlike extensive training sessions, these actions are quite simple, and there is “no” reason to not use them.

Key Things to Remember

  • Delegate responsibilities.
  • Eliminate distractions while working.
  • Learn when to say “no”, but be ready to explain why.
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