3 Ways to Become a Better Project Manager

by Tricia Frey | Oct 9, 2018

As a Project Manager here at Syrup, I spend the majority of my time looking at timelines, setting dates for tasks, and ensuring the flow of work happens efficiently throughout the team. In order to carry out my roles and responsibilities effectively, I must follow certain processes, be extremely organized, and know when to say no. While these are beneficial traits to have while at work, I am a firm believer in practicing what you preach. I’ve found that implementing these same tips into my personal life has helped me become more efficient and more confident within my role at Syrup. They just might help you become more efficient in your role as well.

Have a set routine or process – no matter how small the task.

I’ll admit, I absolutely love early mornings and that is mostly due to the fact that I have a set routine. Waking up to the smell of fresh coffee brewing is my queue to get up and prepare for the day ahead. I make it a point to wake up at the same time every weekday, ensuring I have enough time to do what needs to get done, while adding in some wiggle room to spare (because let’s be honest, no one can plan for those mini morning emergencies, like the coffee pot overflowing, that can either make or break your day). By waking up a half an hour earlier than I need to, it gives me time to deal with an unforeseen problem head-on and still make it out the door on time.

Implementing simple routines or processes into your personal life can have a huge impact on your work life, no matter what the task may be. Take the time to look for the “broken” processes in your normal life. Do you find yourself forgetting to take the trash out? Spending too much money on lunches during the week because you didn’t have time to hit the grocery store? Now, take these broken processes and fix them.

Once your personal life is in check, apply this same practice to your work life. Are there tasks in your business that are recurring, but you are having trouble managing them? Let’s say you send out a monthly newsletter on the same day each month. Do you have a set process for how this is done, or is it chaos and confusion finding the time each month to make sure the newsletter is updated and goes out on time, amongst everything else that is happening in the business? Take the time to identify and solve these broken processes, both in your personal and your work life, and watch how efficient the days become. 

Declutter everything.

Seriously, I mean everything. I am a firm believer in the power of organization and how decluttering your life leads to a decluttered mind. Have you ever found yourself not knowing where you last placed something, so you spend over an hour searching for it in your house or apartment? Sounds like a waste of time if you ask me!

Now take that same way of thinking and apply it to your work life – how often are you searching for an email, a task, or an important message simply because you didn’t take the time to save it to one specific location that was easily accessible later on? In order for you and your team to operate at peak efficiency, you need to get organized and clean up some of the clutter. You can do this by making sure each of your clients has a folder where ONLY their assets live. Or you can drag emails to label folders in your Gmail account for safekeeping. Taking the time now to organize and declutter any mess will save you time later. 

Know when to say no.

If you are a certified “people pleaser,” you know the struggle of saying the word no. For a long time, this word had a terrible connotation associated with it. For me, it meant I couldn’t do something for someone that they were asking of me, or it meant having to let someone down (deep down inside, no, I don’t actually want to go to that Indie concert all my friends are going to, but I will say yes so I don’t have to hurt their feelings).

From my experience, not being able to say no can be more damaging than it seems, especially in the workplace. When you agree or say yes to everything that comes your way, you will eventually take on more than you can handle. This can cause delays in previously scheduled work, unnecessary stress, and frustrated teammates. Don’t be afraid to communicate the “no” at work – but do so in a meaningful and helpful way. “No, I don’t have the availability to take that on right now, but I’m happy to schedule time for it tomorrow.” More often than not, a simple no can have more of a positive impact than always saying yes. “No” allows us to plan, prioritize, and respect one another’s time.

Saying no is being honest to both yourself and your team, and will allow us to take on only what we can handle at the time and do our best work, instead of rushing to get things done. If you truly do not have the availability to help out a coworker, let them know and work with them on scheduling a time for when you can help out. Don’t feel like you have to do something you don’t want to just out of fear of saying no.

Implementing these simple tips into your daily life will have a huge impact on your work life, especially if you are in a project management role within your business. Give these a try and watch how efficient both your personal and work life become!

Interested in learning more strategies to better your business? Reach out to us here!

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 by Tricia Frey

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