Are You Project Managing Your Own Life?

Project manager by day…and night? As a professional project manager, do you find that you project manage your own personal life, even when you aren’t at work? Are you multitasking, creating schedules, spreadsheets, or even using a database or software to track and organize your own personal tasks? If you’ve said, “yes” to any of these, you could be project managing your own life.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Keeping detailed records, schedules, and spreadsheets to track budgets, finances, kids’ sports schedules and other activities, and other daily to-dos isn’t unheard of…especially in our busy lives where most of us balance work, school, families, etc. simultaneously. With our lives on the go all the time, it’s hard not to remain in the role as project manager when you leave the office and when you step in the door at home.

What can you do to become more organized?

The work – life balance is tough. No argument there. Being organized and detail-oriented can help you stay on top of finances, work out or diet goals, sports and activities schedules, and even managing grocery lists. You may have even perfected the art of multitasking by doing multiple household chores at one time, or exercising and doing work on your smartphone at the same time, or even scheduling weekend tasks by the day, or even by the hour! It’s all about coordination.

In addition to spending your time project managing your own life, you can also put that energy towards new ideas and even spark creativity. This doesn’t even have to do with your career as a project manager, but could also pertain to your own personal life. Maybe you need to think of a creative interior decorating idea, or help your child with his or her science project, or even plan your family’s next holiday or family reunion. We know what you’re thinking: spreadsheets, Powerpoints, and maybe even Pinterest…

Not all things in life can be project managed.

Project managers find the slightest inefficiencies and make them efficient. But remember, while life can be a project, it’s not as easily managed as some of the projects that may fall across your desk or appear in your inbox. There are challenges, hardships, and unforeseen events in life that just can’t be managed with a spreadsheet. This isn’t an attack on your efficiency, experience level, or performance as a project manager, it’s just a fact. Life is just messy and we all have to learn to roll with the punches. There come points in life when we have to stop being the job and be human beings.

How do you find a happy medium?

So now that we’ve talked about how project managing your own life is a good thing, and about where the line is between career and home, how does a project manager find a happy medium? There are simple ways that project managers function on a daily basis that aren’t over the top but can still make you a better person, personally.

  1. Coordination. Coordination always takes effort, whether it be at home or work or even in your own business. However, if you learn to balance home and work and recognize where the line between the two is, when to cross it, and when not to cross it, this will help you in your coordination efforts. This will help you to remain organized and keep tasks, projects, and everything else in check and categorize them between work and play.
  2. Communication. Project managers should know it’s all about communication. This item goes beyond the office, email, and the smartphone. This can be used in all relationships, whether personal or professional. Communication among spouses, friendships, and even families is huge in life. Practicing good, effective communication will make you a better person all around.

Finally, project managers can certainly benefit from implementing their own professional tactics into their personal lives. In fact, most professionals often do! However, it’s important as human beings to remember how vital it is not to let this cross over and take over your life negatively. Project management comes with excellent knowledge and skills to utilize in both your personal and professional life.

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About Julie

Julie Anne Hoey is the owner and founder of J. H. Language Solutions. She has over four years experience in publishing as a full time editor and project manager. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusett. The main focus of her personal and professional studies has always been language. Her project management experience began while she was working for Victory Productions, a small publishing house in Worcester, MA. She now holds a position at Pearson Learning Solutions, the largest textbook publisher in the world, managing an initiative to ensure that custom higher ed textbooks are more relevant and cost effective for students. As the textbook publishing industry is facing steep competition from digital format books, she has learned to work closely with professors, adopters and field editors all over the country to ensure projects are seen through to successful completion. Her own consulting business, J. H. Language Solutions, is dedicated to helping businesses and individuals with their language needs and challenges whether it be translation, editing, writing blogs, or project management. She can be hired via her oDesk page: