PLAN. COMMUNICATE. LEAD.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed and frustrated by the amount of work piled on your desk? Have you ever had a goal which you have never managed to accomplish and which has remained in your “to do list” for an indefinite time? Or maybe a habit, which has never been finally introduced into your daily life routine? Or wish, which has stayed a wish for the last couple of years and there is no date for it’s possible completion in the distant future? Have you ever had a feeling that 24 hours in a day is too little to get all thing done? Have you ever wanted to finally stop feeling overwhelmed with and worried about all those tasks you have on your head all the time?
If your answer is yes for at least 1 question above, I do believe you need to know my 5 reasons why you should become a project manager: by profession or “by default”.
1. You will become a real planner
“By planning you bring future into the present so that you can do something about that now”Alan Lakein
You can not even imagine how many things in the world could be improved if everyone would start planning in advance: set a list of things which need to be done, set a date when this particular ‘to do” has to be completed and track the progress. There are so many books written nowadays for personal productivity – by Brian Tracy, David Allan, Stephen Covey, Charles Duhigg, Tony Schwatz, Michael Hyatt and many others, and in each of them there is a clear statement – know your goal, make a plan, and implement is step by step. And it does work!
In any filed you work already or daily routine, you already implement some part of project management, without even realizing it probably: to do lists, meeting agendas, tasks with several underlying tasks, plans for holidays, purchase or build of a house, organization of a bachelor party, renovation of the office, planning a trip, relocation to another country…should I continue listing? So, you already have a source to practice your planning skills. Add to this some worthy theoretical hints – and you are a step ahead. So, mastering a plan-skill, would bring a great deal of benefit to, literally, any sphere of your life.
2. Develop professionally
Whoever you want to be in life, if you want to be successful, you need to be effective. If you want to be effective, you need to be really good with planning your work and achieving results, because at the end of the day – that is all what actually matters. How many of us can answer without thinking the simple questions: “What have you achieved during this day and what have you managed to accomplish”? With project management you will be able to organize chaos and design a manageable plan, integrate people (if you manage people) to work as a team and head all together to achieve set goals. You will be also able to learn from failures and think ahead about “what can go wrong” before it actually happens. Which makes a big deal, especially nowadays – when time is a limit.
Have you met many people who actually plan their career? Their development? Look much ahead into the future and think about possibilities and opportunities? Think about how many possibilities open up when you actually can implement some project management hints into any sphere of your life!
3. Improve your communication skills
“Asking questions is cool. Asking the right people questions is smart. Asking the right people the right questions is professional”
You will have to believe me – but project management is 70% about communication. Good Project Managers never work alone: they create and agree plans with people involved, they schedule meetings and calls with teams to discuss problems, what could go wrong, possibilities, workarounds etc. If you develop your communications skills and learn how to get to the point during meetings, talk business and make sure, that what you have just said is understood by your audience (people, team members, friends) – you are on the right way to become a master in communication.
I remember the time when I only began on a regular basis to participate in daily calls, warm ups and discussions. And my first impression was – why do those guys spend so much time – and by so much I mean minimum 1 hour – on discussions and with no visible result. I was getting even nervous that instead of being productive, I am stuck in the calls. Unfortunately, many people, before they set up a meeting or a call, do not even know what they want to achieve during it, and as you can see – if you do not know what you want to do and how you want to do it, you just make a vision of doing something, and you waste your time and the time of others. So, such experience was also good – to know what you should not do during meetings and interactions with others. This is why when I now organize any meeting or any call, I make a plan and set a goal- what I want to achieve during it, and guide myself and others into the right direction. Practice, practice, practice.
So, trust me – communication skills, is definitely a skill – worth learning, both for private and business use!
4. Make things happen
I imagine a Project Manager as a sort of magician. In fact, if you think about that, managers do not produce any physical product, but good managers, and not a time wasters, are able to integrate people, manage quality, costs, knowledge and enforce and encourage teamwork in such a way, that at the end a real product will be produced. Their work consists of making things happen by using experience, energy and leadership, which leads, or at least should lead, to the result. And this is what really matters.
Just imagine, you want to set up own business, or implement an idea of your own. Knowing how things work, you will make it happen, because you will be able to initiate, plan, execute and control. Simple as it is.
Any “to do” on its own is just a ‘to do”. But if you know how to connect all your ‘to dos” to one main big TO DO – there is 90% chance you will do it! Add to it – energy and dedication – and here you are – result guaranteed!
5. Develop personally
Project management is very dependent on personal management and personal productivity. Once you dive into management, you will definitely want to know more and will start searching for answers– How to become more effective? How to become a leader? How to be become more successful? How to do more in a less amount of time? Of course you can invent your own answers for these questions, but why to invent a wheel if you can do a research in an enormous amount of available literature on the market. And not just literature – good literature, which actually once read and applied, can be used for real good. I do it myself. I love reading and try to read one book a week/two for professional development and constantly listen to audiobooks. Now. Before I started to look for answers myself, I had a constant “driver-question”: HOW?
Working as a project manager and applying project management in your life, by practicing it on a daily basis – you will develop, you will be result-driven, you will be accountable and you will become a master of your time, a leader who is able to drive himself and others.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and that it will inspire you to choose at least one “why ” to introduce project management into your life.