There’s an endless supply of stress management tips for project managers. And while this advice is well-intentioned, most of it isn’t that helpful – because it’s not aligned with the day-to-day reality that project managers face; a reality that isn’t characterized stress/no-stress, but by a continuum of stress.
In other words: there’s really no such thing as stress-free days in the project management world. There are only levels of average stress, above-average stress, and “OMG I’m cashing out and joining the circus” stress (which also goes by the shorter and simpler term:Monday). Add it all up, and many stress management tips for project managers are, ironically, stress inducing rather than stress reducing.
Well, here at Planview AdaptiveWork we think that’s unfair and unnecessary, which is why we’re pleased to share 3 stress management tips for project managers that won’t stress them out even more:
1. Perform a Delegation Audit
Contrary to what uninitiated outsiders may perceive and believe, good project managers aren’t control freaks. Rather, they have what can be respectfully called a “hyper-active sense of responsibility.” And while this trait is quite useful and certainly profitable, it can unintentionally lead to a command-and-control style that clogs workflows and (you guessed it) ratchets up stress levels.
Project managers can alleviate or unravel this messy situation by performing a delegation audit, and seeing if more pieces of the project management puzzle can be farmed out to team members. Yes, these allies may take longer to get things done and there might be a learning curve. But the end result will be more productivity and better performance – and less stress!
2. Drink More Water
Before the eye-rolling starts: no, we aren’t saying that project managers must ditch their sacred coffees, colas, and other caffeine and sugar-loaded dietary stimulants. Actually, yes they should. But we’re being practical here, and asking project managers to go cold turkey on their fuel supply is not going to fly.
However, what project managers can easily do, is simply drink more water throughout the day. As WebMDnotes: “The link between water and stress reduction is well documented. All of our organs, including our brains, need water to function properly. If you’re dehydrated, your body isn’t running well – and that can lead to stress.”
What’s more – and maybe we shouldn’t say this, but we’re all about transparency – project managers (and anyone else for that matter) who start drinking more water will probably discover that they need/want less coffee, candy bars, and so on. It’s not that they’re using willpower or trying to control a craving. They simply don’t feel like it, since their body is enjoying its healthier state.
3. Just Say NO to Spreadsheets
The world of arch-enemies is pretty crowded. Batman has the Joker. Harry Potter has Lord Voldemort. Sherlock Holmes has Professor Moriarty. And project managers have spreadsheets.
Indeed, there is probably no greater technological threat to project manager stress levels than spreadsheets. This isn’t because such tools are inherently evil. Spreadsheets have their place. However, project management isn’t one of them. They make version control a nightmare, the lack of security borders on ridiculous, updating in real-time is a virtual impossibility, and when the resident macro guru goes on vacation, gets sick, quits or gets fired: stand back and let the stressful fireworks begin!
Replacing spreadsheets and other ad hoc tools (email, we’re looking at you!) with a centralized work management system is the antidote that project managers need to keep their stress levels manageable and reasonable vs. skyrocketing and at times, through the roof.
At Planview AdaptiveWork, we’re real world project managers too, and we know what life is like behind-the-scenes. That’s why we’ve designed our award-winning solution from the ground up to “win the end user first,” and why it’s championed by some of the world’s most experienced project managers. We aren’t just about making executives look good and get results. We give project managers the powerful, configurable, customizable, flexible and intuitive enterprise-grade tools they need to thrive.
No, we don’t promise to completely eliminate stress; since that’s not possible. But yes, we can and do make project management much easier – and far more successful. Learn more by starting a 30-day free trial today.