5 Ways to Save Your Sanity

Project managers have their hands full. They have to deal with their team members, with their champions, with stakeholders and managers. On top of that, they have their regular management responsibilities to deal with. It can drive you crazy. Project management can be hectic and chaotic, but there’s no reason to lose your mind. These five tips will help you keep your sanity.
Use Your Champion
Your champion is there to support you and your project. Use them. Keep them in the loop. Provide them with information and let them know when problems start occurring, or you think they’re likely to occur. Champions wear many hats, and can work as go-betweens, can communicate with executives and can provide you with a much-needed buffer so long as you keep them up to speed on what’s going on.
Budget Changes Should Be Made Immediately
You deliver a prototype to your client. The client likes it, but insists on some minor changes. Those changes alter the cost of each item being produced, but only by a small amount. You make the changes and think nothing of it, and are then left wondering why your project failed when it all comes crashing down. This is an extreme example, but one that illustrates the point here. Budget changes need to be approved and made immediately. Even small changes that affect your budget have massive implications for the project as a whole. Because coming in at or under budget is necessary to have a successful project, be proactive here.
Don’t Micromanage Your Team
Part of a project manager’s responsibility is managing his or her team. However, if you tend to micromanage, it’s better to take a step or two back. Micromanaging is time consuming and frustrating for both you and your team members. It’s a waste of time that could be spent doing other things. Trust your team members to handle their daily activities on their own. If they can’t, then chances are you need to make some adjustments to your roster.
Be Organized from Day One
One of the most common reasons for project manager burn out and stress is a lack of organization. Be organized from the very first day, long before the project goes live. Know what information you need in reports from your team members, create templates for them, and then create an organized file system (preferably of the electronic variety) in which to store those reports. You should also have a communication schedule by which you send information to stakeholders and managers.
Cultivate Team Leaders
Managing your team can be tough to do, particularly when you have so many other things demanding your attention. You can take some of the stress off by cultivating team leaders. This will require that you know your team well, and then identify potential leaders from their ranks. Teach and train your chosen leaders and let them assume most of the daily duties that would otherwise eat into your time for other responsibilities.

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