2018 is well underway and we’re all optimistic about our New Year’s resolutions. Of course, you probably made a list of improvements you want to see for yourself this year. Has ‘being better in project management’ find its way on the list? While we can’t advise you on how to improve your gym results (or something similar), we’d like to share these brilliant project management hacks to improve your abilities, make you more productive and do better at both personal and professional projects.
Let’s get started!
Prioritize Every Day – No Exceptions
Let’s face it busy everyday lives often feel like a burden. With so many things to do on certain days, we’d rather just give it up and stay in our beds. Yeah, we always wake up though and grind it anyway. Why not do it like a winner from the start?
Have you ever heard of the Pareto principle? The idea is that out of 100% of the daily tasks that lay ahead, the most important 20% is going to influence your success. Already sounds great right? Could you imagine hacking away those 2 heavy tasks out of 10 every day are going to make you successful? Yep, it’s true.
Let’s raise a bar just a tad. Every night, make a list of your tasks for the coming day and prioritize three most important ones. Make your mission to nail that 3 tasks every day, you’ll see a much productive and a better self in just a week! Give just a small effort at doing a couple of those less important ones, it won’t be such a problem anymore. Share it with your team and experience success all-round.
Studies show that we spend around 4 hours a day checking our e-mail. That’s almost half of our work day. If you aren’t responsible for e-mail campaigns or anything similar that’s way too much precious time wasted. Set two times a day to check your e-mail and (morning and mid-day work the best) and you’ll win yourself plenty of time to do more important tasks.
We already wrote about this, but using timeboxing methods can come a long way at being more productive. Start using the famous Pomodoro technique and keep all your distractions at bay for a period in which you’ll only focus on performing only one task. This will make you more efficient and you can reward yourself with a short YouTube video right before you hop on your new task.
Project managers cannot stress this one enough, but it seems like these days nothing works anymore with outlining projects with writing plane descriptions and words. Try to visualize your project as a path and use advanced methods of visualization such as doing mind mapping. Creating a vision not only helps create a doable path in the mind but also makes you more motivated and promotes a more positive look at obstacles and roadblocks which will make it easier for you to accept challenges.
Make Friends With Tech
Keeping that timeline on a piece of paper won’t do you much good, there are more useful tools to help you improve your project management. One research showed that 77% of companies already use some project management software, and 87% of high-performing companies use at least one project management tool. Time to get familiar with those. Use the tools that support your visionary goals and use Gantt charts to help you navigate towards accomplishing all of them.
Develop A Morning Routine
Experts say that what you do in the morning will determine the success of your entire day. So why not kick it off the right way? And it’s not just about waking up early. Explore some of the daily routines of the most successful people and use them as your guides.
Start winning your day early, while the rest of the world still sleeps. By waking up only one hour earlier you can gain that advantage checking your mail when you don’t have anything more important, working out, prepping that healthy breakfast or simply meditating. There are endless possibilities and you’ll feel much more energized for the coming day.
Everybody knows that project management is always about the teamwork, but very few apply it or lose it as pressure builds up. It’s important to be transparent and always share information, especially today when we have so many communication channels. If you want to succeed, rely on people more to help you out and always be there to help. It’s as simple as that. Always seek to be clear when you communicate team roles and responsibilities. This way you’ll have much fewer obstacles as the time goes.
Try to put some value on social task management rather than using outdated project structures. This allows the steady flow of information, and breaks down the standard commanding and controlling ways. You’ll have a much better team cohesion and people will see better how they fit into the team and how they depend on others to make things happen.
Learn To Adapt
This always takes me back to that “Be like water” philosophy of Bruce Lee. Try to cherish that growth mindset at all times. Experts say that fixed mindset and giving up when things go south won’t get you far. The truth of the matter is (and you’ll experience it often) that no matter how good you may be in planning, the battlefield will throw some curve balls your way. No plan is ideal and it’s important not to stumble when new obstacles occur, rather accept the challenge and develop in the new setting.
That’s it, you guys. And although there may be (and probably are) more ways for you to be a better project manager, we think these 8 will do the work for the big 2018. No matter if you use them for your personal or professional projects we wish you a successful year ahead!
Have a favorite project management hack of your own? Share it with us in the comment section below, we’d love to hear about it.