Lesson Learnt (essentials of PM) - Stress and Time Management

My work week has been extremely stressful and I feel completely burnt out. I have started realizing this craziness has led me to deviate away from myself- the inner me. I have been functioning in an automated mode in creating the work list, getting work done, write reports, document change requests, email clients, fret over problems  and coming back home so late that I almost never have time for myself anymore. 

I wanted some rest (for the sake of my over alert mind) and really felt I had to slow down. I needed creativity and free thinking back in my life. 

I decided to fight out the stress- I read somewhere that challenging your mind and your self brings back creativity. I didn’t want to do Sudoku for sure, my mind was already over functioning and I had to slow it down and relax. I gave my bedroom a makeover, not new stuff, just re-arrange the furniture so it makes me feel different- feel new. I shifted my study table nearer to the window, I wanted some open air and the view of the long stretch of trees, blue sky, natural light and the birds chirping. I changed what was constant in my everyday routine. I will even be lazy today and read what I want to read, listen to some good music, catch up on movies and eliminate too much surfing on the net, tweeting, IM and try to keep my mind as free as possible. 

I always go in for a haircut when I want or feel I am ready for a personal change. Don’t ask me why, I really don’t know but it sure does pick me up. I tried the hair -cut thing but it didn’t transfer the instant pick me up feel this time. Either I was too stressed out or the bad haircut at this really expensive place made it worse.  

So, I found this great new blog  and I started reading it first thing in the morning. Sometimes, hearing or reading positive things you -already- know helps. It re-affirms your belief and soothes you over. Reading some random writings on how you can be happy was relaxing. Happiness is expensive.

I finally get this collection of everyday inspiring thoughts in a spiral bound format which I keep in my cubicle; I flip through it and read a new one the moment I feel I am starting to fret. I like what it says and it calms me down. 

So, I decide to talk it out with the System Administrator. He’s a great guy, insightful, calm, pleasant, non- judgmental and his casual, smiling, shuffled hair look makes him very approachable. We talk quite often; from discussing new ideas to “suggest me how I can focus more” and “how much do you think I’ve improved in the last 6 months”. It’s not about how insightful he is, I think simply talking about some random subject breaks the routine and brings in freshness and gets me in touch with myself that I sometimes miss. 

I think there are 2 major lessons learnt from what’s been going on - stress & time management are two essential things that you have to know to become a Project Manager. You can’t be out of touch with yourself and everyday should be a learning experience for tomorrow. After all Project Manager’s aren’t perfect, how they handle imperfection is as close as it gets in trying to be perfect!

As Raven (Young) mentioned- "Project management is more than a full-time battle...and half the battle is finding ways NOT to let the field take over your life."

(Picture : Google Images)


Bas said...

wow. not much really I can add. Just wanted to compliment you on a fabulous post. This is blogging with a capital B.

What you describe is so true. PMs are so good at knowing how others should work and what other should be doing. If we only knew how to take care of our own mind :)


Anonymous said...

Hi Bas,

Thank you so much for the kind words :)

Blogging is therapeutic to an extent, I feel much lighter and sane already.