We all know the feeling: You have a presentation coming up for a deliverable at the end of the week, PowerPoint deck and all. You’re booked solid with meetings, and you’re also on the hook to deliver some much-needed analysis so that you aren’t the one holding up progress and impacting the project schedule.
If you’re working on a largescale technology project like many of our asset management clients, you know that the scale of change and the pace required to stay on track can be overwhelming. The complexity of operations and infrastructure changes require an adaptable mindset and a flexible staff to stay on track, often at the expense of a stressed-out work force. I’ve been there and I’ve seen my colleagues in the same boat, but when I find myself feeling overwhelmed, I’ve found a few fail-proof ways to stay grounded:
Know when you are really needed
This one took me a while to learn, but if we all attended every meeting we were invited to we’d quickly drive ourselves crazy and be no more productive for it. When you are cc’d on meetings that don’t really require your attendance, sometimes it’s better to take an hour at your desk. We all know that invasive implementations and operating model changes have a lot of cooks in the kitchen, and you probably don’t need to play sous chef at every meeting. Meeting notes can be a great thing—you’ll be up to date on the discussion, ready to respond to action items, and during that time you’ll have moved at least one small bit of work from the “to-do” to the “done” pile.
Empower those around you
Despite our best attempts, none of us can do it all. The best project managers I have worked with have made themselves available for help whenever I needed it, but another trait they all possessed was the ability to let me work things out on my own and give me the space to make important decisions within my capabilities. Trusting those around you, and giving the reigns to those who have earned the opportunity to take them, has been one of the most successful ways I’ve seen busy project managers hit their goals.
Make use of down time
Somebody once told me that “a lack of time is actually a lack of priority,” and I tend to agree. It’s 2019—you can email your team and get a workout in at the same time. Facetime your friends and family to catch up from the airport or give them a call on the drive home when you feel like you are losing touch. As one of Citisoft’s few millennials, I’ve heard a lot about generational differences in work-life balance. I don’t see a huge gap though—even when I am on call 24/7, I utilize technology to sensibly multi-task. Don’t sacrifice your health and your sanity when work piles up—instead, look for opportunities to meet your personal priorities while getting the job done. If you can strike the right balance, you may just find yourself happier and more productive.