Our lives are essentially the sum of our habits. What we repeatedly do, ultimately forms the people we are, the things we believe in, and the personalities we have. Everything about us is a result of habits etched in our minds through years and years of repetitive behavior. It’s very simple – if you want to change your life, you need to start transforming your habits. Let’s take a look at the habits of successful project managers, that you can apply to your life.
Learn how to prioritize
In projects, tasks depend on other tasks. Some of them can’t be started if a previous task has not been completed yet and eventually one missed deadline could turn into hundred missed deadlines. That’s why project managers should know how to prioritize. With so much on their plates, it is important that instead of trying to solve multiple problems at once, to focus on one problem at a time depending on it’s importance and urgency. By completing the most important activities first, the chances of project failure decreases substantially.
“Ninety percent of a project manager’s work is communication.” Much of their work is receiving and transmitting information. They need to constantly negotiate, consult, cajole, and use all of their communication skills. One habit that makes all of this easier is simple: being a good listener. They need to understand the clients’ needs and note all of the details that may be necessary for the project.
Focus on solutions, not problems
When facing a problem, the first thing we tend to do is focus on the negative aspects. Project managers divert all of their energy towards finding solutions, instead of wasting time on whining about the problems and pointing fingers at one another. They focus on ways to actually resolve the situation by looking for solutions.
Think in terms of risk
A good project manager is a forward-thinker and anticipates obstacles even before they arise. It is easy to get lost when unforeseen changes happen to the plan, but project managers initially think of the possibilities of failure which allows them to navigate the situation more easily. They constantly review outstanding risks on a regular cycle and push for progress.
Keep track of time
Professional project managers have excellent time management skills. It helps them to assess the accuracy of work estimates and the effectiveness of the team. Setting specific goals and sticking to them plays a powerful part in motivating employees and keeping them on task. With time tracking, project managers can monitor progress in real time and capture the data needed. That data also helps reveal issues about the staff and resources involved in completing a project. Eventually, by monitoring how long tasks take, they can compare those results to budget, industry standards, and progress on similar projects.
Communicate with the team
Communication is an essential tool in the field of project management. It starts from the day one and continues for the entire life span of the project. As a manager, it is important to keep in constant touch with the team members. They need to understand how team members think and what ideas they have about ongoing projects. These insights help managers shape decisions to improve the process further. They should also remember that half of communication is listening to the team and acknowledging their ideas, but also making sure that the clients’ expectations are met.
Even though being a project manager means working hard and having a lot of responsibilities, it doesn’t have to be too difficult and draining. By having the right kind of mindset and adopting useful habits, the job can be a lot less stressful and more enjoyable. If you want to be successful at project management, you should exhibit or develop habits mentioned above. Make sure to have them under your belt if you’re striving to become successful. You don’t need to have ten years of experience to deliver success every time. Changing some habits and brushing up your skills can drastically improve your professional competences.