How to Keep the Project Running When You’re Under Stress

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Leon CollierWriter at Careersbooster

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Stress and frustration are natural results of managing large-scale and lengthy projects. Here are several ways you can keep on top of it.

Article 6 Minutes
How to Keep the Project Running When You’re Under Stress

Project management stress can come as a result of many things. It could be a general misunderstanding of your role or lack of respect from your organization, little or no information before a project starts or any other reason that could stress you. These issues can lead to a project stalling or, worse, completely derail it. Take the following steps to ensure the project moves on smoothly.

1. Keep your daily plan simple

You’re already stressed enough with what you’re doing. The best you can do is try and avoid piling even more work on top of what you already have to handle. Keep your daily plan simple. Try and find out what tasks need to be addressed urgently and quickly. Put those tasks on top of your to-do list and keep everything else away. During the day, there will be unplanned tasks that also need to be attended to urgently. If your schedule isn't so packed, you will have time to do them. Remember, the goal is to keep things going, not pile them up.

2. Only work at the office

There will be instances when you have to put in the extra hours to try and get the project over the line. You need to figure out where to handle all that work when that happens. Whatever you do, don’t take your work home with you. This will only lead to burnout.

Try and take a break from thinking about the project. When you get home, find a hobby that will take your mind off work. Thinking about it all the time will only increase stress levels. Consider taking up a fishing hobby or amateur metal detecting. The point is to find an activity that will be as much different from your job tasks as possible.

3. Don’t make work issues personal

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a project manager is to take work issues personally. Don’t let every little word or action attach to you. This will only lead to self-blame and delay the project even further. Work on spotting issues before they hit you. However, when some problems sneak up on you – as they always do – try and handle it professionally. Find the best route out of the problem. Involve other people. Don’t shoulder the project burden on your own. Remember, teamwork will get the work done quickly. Focus on the task at hand and don’t over-blame yourself over mistakes.

4. Use Matrix mapping to prioritize tasks

Matrix mapping employs the Eisenhower matrix to help a project manager focus on what is important first. With this method, you can split tasks into four parts, i.e., do first, schedule, delegate and don’t do. “Do first” tasks take priority over everything else. You can delegate tasks and create time to do what is necessary first. You can also use this method to identify habits that take up unnecessary time. For instance, you don’t need to be looking at topcv reviews unless it’s a top priority, and only when you are looking to update your resume.

5. Note down important conversations

For a project to be successful, you need all hands on deck. This includes not just what the team is doing but also every discussion regarding the project. People have a habit of forgetting what was said, even when it’s important to remember. To keep things going, make sure you record important conversations and make sure your team members know about them. If you scribble down notes during meetings, you can give your team members a copy of your notes. If someone forgets a critical discussion that pops up later, you can remind them to check the notes.

6. Make sure you and your team understand the project requirements

One of the leading causes of stress during a project is not understanding what is required of you. This always leads to mistakes during the project. Before you can start working on the project, take some time to set ground rules and make sure everyone understands what the client requires. You can schedule a meeting during the week to produce status reports of what the client expects. You can also use this time to go over what is expected of you. You can stay ahead of issues this way and respond to other tasks that may come in later during the project.

7. Own your mistakes

Mistakes will happen, whether you like it or not. To err is human, and you are just as human as everyone else. You will make mistakes. However, don’t let your mistakes stand in the way of finishing the project on time. Use mistakes as learning experiences and quickly move on to what is important – finishing the project.

Mistakes will also tell your client and stakeholders what you’re made of. If you handle them with grace, you will quickly overcome them. Don’t point fingers or start a blame game. Hold your head high and work with your team to find a solution.

8. Take time to research and learn

It never hurts to take time to learn about new ways of handling a project. You can research to find new ways and ideas of how to deal with stakeholders and clients, manage your responsibilities and your team members as well. You can learn important organization, leadership and time management skills to help you manage your team and deal with work pressure. You can research professional CV writing to help you pick highly qualified team members.

9. Don’t bite more than you can chew

Remember, the aim is to successfully and efficiently finish the project. Break down tasks into smaller manageable bits. This way, you will better understand the time commitment needed. Since you are the project manager, your aim is to focus on the bigger picture. This often leads to biting more than you can chew. Instead, take time to break down tasks and achieve them quickly.

10. Don’t take on the entire project by yourself

Share the load. Take time to review the amount of work you are doing and find out if any of it can be delegated to a different person in the team. If you find yourself handling administrative tasks like rewriting feedback for the stakeholders, pass it on to a team member. Work closely with your team and assign them more tasks. You can then free yourself to work on what you actually need to be doing.

Final thoughts

Project management takes a toll. You can take several steps to ensure everything goes smoothly even when you are stressed. Identify what is stressing you during the project and nip it in the bud. Don’t take on unnecessary tasks, but focus entirely on what needs to be done to successfully complete the project.

Leon Collier

Writer at Careersbooster

Leon Collier is a blogger and resume writer from the UK who works at Careersbooster. He likes trying new subjects and is always focused on proving his worth as a writer in new and challenging areas. His hobbies are reading books and playing tabletop games with his friends.

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