You want to be a project management star.
You want to get things done.
You want to reply to emails before the sender even hits the send button. You want your project not only to stay within budget but also to end up with more money. You want to be agile enough that your team calls you “The Mongoose”.
Although you may not feel it all the time, I guarantee that you are already proficient in project management. Let’s find out how we can make our day project management stars.
You can plan your day with project management skills.
You know the importance of time as a project manager. With that in mind, here’s the TL-DR version of this article: Eat frogs in morning, squash meetings in afternoon, and make a list in the evening.
I hope you find this brief, but intriguing summary enough to make you want to read the rest.
Great, let’s go!
Morning: Eat the Frogs
You slept well, you woke up early, and you ate Greek yogurt with flax seeds and chia before you ran six miles. You’re a project management star, congratulations! But what’s next?
You’re now at work before anyone else, and it’s tempting for you to spend an hour cleaning out your inbox, managing your fantasy baseball team, reading Game of Thrones recaps, or clearing out your email.
You have the willpower to resist temptation because you are a project manager superstar and know that this is the best day to eat frogs.
Although eating the frogs may be a project management buzzword of dubious origins and is nearing dangerous levels of over saturation it provides a strong visual.
Frog eating, as you may have guessed, or more likely already knew, means finding the thing you are least motivated to do, but will feel the most fulfilled when it is done, and then executing it.
This could include rescheduling meetings, limiting the scope of the project to prevent scope creep, or simply sending an email explaining that a critical piece of your project will not finish on time.
Mel Robbins, motivational speaker and TedxSF presenter, said that it was your job to make yourself do the things you don’t like so you can be everything you’re supposed be.”
In other words, if your frogs are eaten every morning, you can have dessert all day.
Other things to do in the Morning: Smile, ask coworkers how they are doing, and sip coffee.
Afternoon: Squash meetings
“Squashing meetings” does not mean having meetings during a squash game or removing meetings from your schedule. Meetings can be a great way to work with colleagues and plan together, but they can also cause chaos in your project’s schedule.
You are a project manager superstar. It is your responsibility to only hold meetings when absolutely necessary and to keep them as short as possible.
According to a 2014 Robert Half survey, 25% of meetings time was wasted by professionals.
Robert Half survey
Robert Half suggests that project managers follow these recommendations:
It doesn’t matter if your team is sitting in a meeting. They aren’t moving forward with their individual tasks. As a project manager, your job is to ensure that everyone is on the same page in as little time as possible before they go to work.
TedxAix co-creator Jeff Sutherland shared an important lesson he learned from a progressive school here in the Netherlands in project management in his TedxAix presentation “The art and science of doing twice as many things in half the time”. He said,
The team practices self-discipline. They may ask for a little help from their teacher if they feel they need it. But, generally, they don’t require it. If you look back at the world most of us live, you will see that there are many things we can do.