We often hear the word ‘project” in a classroom setting, side project, home improvement project, and other projects, but not everyone knows how to succeed, to start, and manage a project. The term “project” refers to various aspects such as building projects, school projects, and the like. Being a project manager has developed skills that are not only embraced to make the job more comfortable, but to adapt it through everyday life.
What is Project Management?
In layman’s terms, project management refers to overseeing of a project or an activity that is expected to bring positive pre-planned results. Although I have only learned project management in my later years, it has given me a rewarding career. The skills do not just happen overnight. I believe that excellent project management skills can become your scaffold for getting projects done effectively and efficiently in the office, and can be applied outside of the corners of the office in everyday life. To be organized and task-oriented can make you productive and efficient, which allows you to have an easier task every day rather than running you’re every day like you have a deadline to beat.
A project manager is defined as an overseeing force but is “hands-on” in the project. The knowledge on all the process in facilitation and transitioning from one phase to another is retained and should be mastered.
Below are the three skills that project managers apply in their everyday life that I have explored and how these skills can be helpful outside of the office.
- Organizing and planning
This is one of the most basic yet required skills a project manager possesses. The ability to list down all of the tasks that need to be done, all the way to the most intricate plans and details. Whether you decide to take a day off or going on a vacation somewhere, make it a habit to create a note of to-do’s and put it on a timeline to specify each task.
Create a checklist a week before the event, for example, and you plan to travel out of town, write down and list down everything that needs to be done and try to finish the list in one sitting. You can write it on a sticky note and post it somewhere in the house where you can easily see and remember.
Creating itineraries can be enjoyable, especially when traveling with family and friends. It is preferred to put it on a table or if you feel like extra organized, create a PowerPoint of the daily activities, transportation, accommodation, and even the food options and restaurants you wanted to try, Sometimes its the excitement and the anticipation that drives the project managers to organize and plan things. It is usually the actual planning that boosts enthusiasm than real vacation or trips.
- A Well-planned scheduling
The schedule is our lifeline when it comes to project management. It allows everyone, including the family, to be informed of their time, your spouse, your grown-up kids of what needs to be done and the deadlines you need to meet. A creative well-planned schedule is the result of the list you made above, with each task specified by time duration or completion based on your list. The second crucial part of schedule development is finding out the planning you need to do among the task that you need to complete. Now, the real creativity of well-planned scheduling happens when you are faced with daily obstacles. Expect that sometimes unexpected things happen and some needs urgent attention before moving onto the next step. These obstacles can test your patience into having a meticulous plan if you let it happen.
So how can you navigate or dodge these challenges and stay on your schedule? You can split work into a separate course. Sometimes it can be quite frustrating when your plan is off its track. Instead of individually being dependent on this task, look for some ways that you or anyone around you can contribute to progress. So how is creative scheduling helped me in my life outside work? Imagine yourself first being in three places at once during holidays or even weekends. It is no longer a secret that our lives are getting more sophisticated and busier. This is how creative and well-planned scheduling comes in.
- Individual Differences Management
When you work with team members from different ethnicities, gender, religion, belief, and educational background, you become aware of these differences. And the more awareness I gain, the better I communicate with other people. Our style may not work for everyone, so personalizing each interaction with every person I talk to help. If I do not want any small talk, It is fine, and I choose different means of communication.
Being in a corporate world helped me to become more knowledgeable about cultural and individual differences. When you live in a multi-cultural city, you can make new friends and acquaintances from all over the world. I now understand that some friends will take a rain check on a weekend plan, while others will be direct and say that they can’t make it up front. This is something cultural, and I believe that there is no wrong or right culture, just their individuality and cultural beliefs.
These three skills I have acquired has taught me that these skills can be applied to life outside the office. Although I have adapted these skills, I am still a big planner. It can be both draining physically and mentally, but it can be a great lesson in coming out of your comfort zone, exploring new and unfamiliar places and territory. These skills take some time to master. There is more to learn and unlearn. However, I am grateful to have these management skills which I genuinely enjoy and where my knowledge and expertise I gained and is now using in my everyday life.