Hello and Welcome

I'm an ex-Project Manager who currently moved on to Agile Consulting and this blog is my sounding board. This blog was started in 2008 journal-ling through my project management journey, today it combines both- my passion for all things project management as well as looking into the agile way of transformation and undergoing changes.

Here I write about my experiences, struggles, failures and joys. I also interview, do book reviews and keep you updated.

I usually post twice a week: Monday and Thursday unless I am too caught up which is often these days

If I'm not working; I can be found reading with a cup of tea. I love to read, push the envelope one step further, work on new ideas, experiment, travel and explore life.

Did you know you can now buy Stepping into Project Management at Amazon Kindle.

You can reach me at steppingintopm@gmail.com

Digital Detox

Over communication can be a kill, so once in a while detox helps. How often you do its up to you.

I do one when:
  • I am stressed about messages all over the place that I am expected to read and reply to immediately ( for work or otherwise)
  • I need some quiet time for myself
  • I want to re-invent me
  • I don't feel happy or focused

5 simple ways to detox:
  • Phone- If you cannot switch off your phone, don’t connect to the WiFi. Your phone would work but you can stop checking your social media.  
  • Online Status- You can let everyone know you will be offline for a week, which would clear off the expectations
  • It’s difficult- Everyone is constantly staring at their phone which also means it would be rather difficult to break the habit. So, if you are not the do in moderation kind, switch off your phone completely or take a vacation and go offline. You will be okay after a day or two.
  • Upload later- If you need to share pics or updates, wait for the detox time period and then go for it. Don’t break the detox. 
  • Why it helps- It will help you rejuvenate and relax, a much needed requirement for a project manager.  You will come back from the detox with a new perspective and a better focus.
(Pic courtesy: Pinterest)

SIPM Connect- The Benefits of Being a Mentor

SIPM Connect is the Community of Project Managers that allows the Newbies and the Experts to interact. Oh and it’s free.









  

3 top benefits of being a mentor in SIPM Connect:

1.You get to share your experience with someone- the greatest of satisfaction is to help someone our and see them grow. It makes you a better person and professional and it add a boost of positivity in your life. In SIPM Connect, you can choose to be a mentor.  This allows newbies to connect with you easily from all over the world. Mentors can be sort out based on their location, domain or profile insight.

2.You learn from the millennial’s (born between 1980-2000)- Most of the younger workforce who are looking for mentors are probably millennials. 3 things you didn’t know about millennials  
          •       They are motivated (source
          •       They crave coaching (source
          •       Open to change (source
     3. You can earn credits- In most formats, informal coaching or mentoring can be counted as learning or discussions,  so if you are involved you might be able to get adequate credits. Please check with your local chapter of PMI or Scrum  Alliance for more information.


    10 Ways to Bring Back Productivity in your Life

    Today is your day! Start doing and stop waiting! Rose Hill Designs by Heather Stillufsen
    1. Stop Waiting- It’s never going to be perfect time for anything. So, stop waiting to ask for a raise, to try a new project, a blog, a hobby, launch of a new idea. Start it today and the thrill and positivity of starting something new to bring in the momentum you have been waiting   
    2. Create Routines- start creating routines that allow you to be positive or creative. It’s more like a mental cue that it’s your time now to be the best. Start your routine with a cup of tea or in silence or read good books whatever allows you to relax and focus. A positive happy start can be created even among difficult of times and this will allow you to work better.
    3. Stop Over Communicating- You don't have to reply to every Facebook post, or whats app chats, say no from joining multiple groups that stress you out or just put them on mute. You don't have to read how successful and happy the whole world is while you trying to sort your life out. We talk so much about the right amount of communication in projects but no one says, how to limit them in your real life. You will be more happy and focused when you stop over communicating and can handle the pressure to.
    4. Say No- It’s important to find yourself to be productive, so say a no to a group of friends who don’t add any value to your being, a lunch invitation when you would rather go for the walk, a drink after work or weekend brunch. Spend time where you find value, not others.
    5. Create Lists- its helps when you write it down, use apps, pen and paper whatever allows you to create the list. Use lists as much as possible and it not only allows remembering items; it’s also a great feeling when you check them off.
    6. Create a Positivity Diary- A notebook, diary, and scrapbook whatever suits your soul. Try writing positive thoughts, quotes, store pictures, magazine cut outs anything that makes you feel great. Sometimes during the days when things aren’t in the right place, this is a great place to revisit and out your thoughts in place.
    7. Have Me Time- Always, no matter how busy you are. I try it to wrap up my day with my time. You can use it whenever you want- mornings, during lunch break, weekends.... plan it your way, read a journal you have wanted to read for a while, whip up a new dish, order some new books, be mindless and enjoy the rain. Relaxing allows you to sustain your pace of work and focus. 
    8. It’s okay to Fail- Don’t focus on failing even before you start. We all have bad days even when everything was planned. Don’t think about what happens if I start a blog and no one reads, what if I take an initiative and its turned down, what if I don’t get the raise. You will be surprised at how many times; all it takes is to ask. 

    9. Take Breaks- Taking breaks is always recommended it keep the focus on your work. Use the Pomodoro technique or just take breaks- go for walks, get a cup of tea, use the stairs, 30 minutes in your office gym and then get back to work. If possible plan a vacation.You will be amazed at how much more you can do when you are fresh and feeling great. 
    10. Be You- If you are trying to fake it till you make it that’s great. However, always be you because no one is you and that’s your power. Don’t be afraid to ask a question, raise a point or participate in a discussion. Being you is sometimes freeing specially when its appreciated.
                            


    (Picture Courtesy: Pinterest)

    When you hit rock bottom- 5 ways to keep going

    Work is not done in seclusion, our job part of our life and what’s going on in your life will affect your work. Everyday.

    This often means if you are going through difficult times in your personal life, it will reflect in your work as well. Hitting rock bottom doesn’t always mean you have to stay put there; it does help to have supportive work space and friends.

    Not everyone is lucky. If you have to drag yourself to work every day and start feeling tired and not focused enough, here are 5 things to try out:
    1. Accept the down time- fighting it is of no use, accept it and try thinking what can be done to ensure your work life takes the minimum hit. Get some help from your colleagues in sorting out your work, if possible take some time off or focus on a top priority everyday and get it done.
    2. Try creating a routine- this will help in navigating through the hard times, try putting on some soothing music, may be upbeat pictures or postcards around your work desk, plan a solo vacation, keep some time aside to grab a coffee and reconnect to yourself.
    3. Take the time and keep it for yourself- know that it’s difficult and don’t try to please others during this time. Use the time for yourself and to see how you can accept it and move on to the next step of your journey. Don't give up at work completely, try to keep personal matter private. 
    4. Use color therapy-  relax and use lighter colors around you, do anything and everything that will ensure you are calmer and your negative emotions are not triggered. 
    5. It can be only good now on- now that you have hit the rock bottom, nothing can go worse. Be there for a while and when you are ready, know that it will be from where you will rebuild again and things will only be better. 
    Failure has its own advantage, hear J. K. Rowling talk about it:
     
               


    If its any comfort in knowing, do know everyone in their lifetime go through some down time or the other, some cope better than the other but there's no escape. So, do anything it takes to heal yourself and find your peace again and once its done, march yourself back to your work and get things done like always. 

    Additional resources: 
    If you unfortunately are going through depressed state of mind, click here

    Good luck and best wishes.

    (Pic courtesy: Pinterest)



    How to read a book?

    I love reading books, I have recently also moved to reading –eBooks and reading books online via i-pad.

    This post isn’t about that.

    It’s about finding the most effective way to read a book, remember the idea behind it and trigger the thought process. Not exactly the way you would read a novel.

    I’ll explain what I mean- I like reading books in combos. This means if they are on similar topics/themes I will club them together and read. I don’t club more than 3 books. For example- I read Rework  and Delivering Happiness  together; both are about creating corporate cultures and see how differently it’s done for the same goal.
    I read Beyond Boys Club  and Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office  together. You get the idea.

    My recent ongoing read is The Fifth Discipline  and Critical Chain  .

    Why this is great:
    • You can easily compare between the books and theories and real life examples before yo forget.
    • It makes me think because I am reading 2 different opinions about the same topic, sometimes complimentary, sometimes contradictory
    • By reading 2-3 authors at the same time, I spread my horizon more on the topic.
    How do you prefer reading yours?

    (Pic Courtesy: Pinterest)