While it sounds like taking work home with you, project managing your life is in fact a way of using your soft skills to improve your personal life. By applying project management techniques to your home life, you will reap endless benefits.
Better manage your finances
Create a spreadsheet for your incomings and outgoings and you will soon be able to identify inefficiencies. While this may not sound like a fun way to spend your free time, committing a rainy afternoon to managing your finances in more detail could see you afford that extra holiday next year!
Take control of your home improvements
If you are planning any kind of home improvement or building work, consider taking control. Paying out for a project manager is perhaps a waste of time as you will more than likely end up governing the build yourself. It may be a new area for you, but you have the soft skills required – organisation, critical thinking, communication, and risk management, to name a few.
Top tip: Establish a strong relationship with your builder/contractor from the start.
Use negotiation skills for personal gain
Remember that time you got a contractor to slash fifteen percent off and saved the company £20,000 per annum! Apply these negotiation skills when making large purchases in your personal life and you could save yourself a fortune too. By doing your research, you could cut costs on holidays, cars, or household items. Remember the persuasion techniques you use when haggling at work; always talk to the boss, ask if they can price match, or throw in freebies and upgrades to sweeten a deal.
Tidy up your life admin
Admin can be the bane of your life as a project manager, so chances are you’ve got into some good habits to effectively manage it. Establish these same principles at home and get your general life admin in order. It may be updating spreadsheets or paying bills on a certain date, a particular process for filing paperwork, or keeping your inbox at zero and putting emails into specific folders. Applying these methods to your personal life will keep you organised at home, and ensure you’re on top of all life admin.
Effectively schedule appointments
Likewise, apply scheduling methods used at work for running your life errands. Slot a dentist checkup or a hair/beauty appointment into your lunch hour to save unnecessary trips to the city at the weekend. Book any commitments ahead of time to prevent having to juggle last-minute arrangements. Streamlining this area of your life will save a lot of time and effort.
Arrange family occasions
Utilise your people management skills to arrange family occasions. Well-managed get togethers will benefit the whole family – they may even thank you for taking charge! Even if they don’t, you will get the satisfaction of knowing that the plans are well-managed.
Streamline your communication
Establish the best ways to communicate with those around you in your home life just as you do at work. This could be by setting up group chats with friends/family members to save relaying information. Or, for those with children, technology is also great for communicating with your child care. Many schools, childminders and nurseries have adopted apps as a way to notify you of information and avoid messages being forgotten, missed or overlooked.
Coach those around you
Often part of your role as a project manager is coaching others. You may not even realise you’re doing it, but offering pep talks and an empathetic ear brings the best out of your project team. There are areas of your personal life where your coaching expertise can help others too. Perhaps it’s giving your spouse the confidence to bag that promotion, or encouraging a friend to go on a date.
Keep a record of your accomplishments
The most successful managers keep a record of their project results. This may include noting positive KPI outcomes and flagging amazing client feedback emails. It’s a great way of evidencing your worth when it comes to reviewing your performance with higher management, or when shooting for a pay rise. Keeping a record of your accomplishments is just as important in your personal life. It could be as simple as jotting down your achievements in the front page of your diary; making a good pick-me-up on more challenging days.