Stress Management and Work/Life Balance Techniques

leadership Apr 10, 2019

Chances are, your job as a PMP occasionally means that you get a visitor from a very unwanted guest… STRESS. Do you sometimes lay up at night, thinking about all of the work that lies ahead of you tomorrow? Or, do you get so flustered by tasks that you have a hard time even knowing where to start? Do you feel exhausted and overwhelmed by your daily workload? Work stress can lead to anxiety, sleep loss, and impaired functioning. Knowing how to counteract this stress can help you become a more productive employee and make you happier in both your professional and personal life.

We face all different kinds of stressors in our life, but for many, work stress can be particularly intrusive. As a nation, we are getting more and more consumed by stress at work. In fact, nearly 83% of US workers feel stressed about their work, and nearly 70% believe that they have too much work on their plates. Nationally, nearly 1,000,000 employees miss work every day for stress-related reasons. For...

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Retaining Employees: The Key to Future Success

leadership Apr 03, 2019

"It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed." – Napolean Hill

Perhaps one of the most critical pieces of our project management profession is th‘management’ piece. While this by nature often refers to managing project plans and execution- chances are, a large portion of your job is managing either direct employees or individuals who must report to you on varying aspects of the project. This means a critical part of your responsibilities is helping your teammates be successful within their role on your team.

One the best ways to guarantee success on future projects is to retain employees that have proven to be an asset to the team. Employee retention not only helps to maintain a productive work environment, but also saves time and money spent on training, and leads to additional future profitability. A dedicated employee who is both talented and committed to their job is someone who should be appreciated, and reminded...

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Getting Organized for Better Productivity

leadership Mar 26, 2019

Spring is finally here! This season is known for renewal and can be a great reprieve from the dark, cold days of winter. Spring is linked to rebirth and renewal, and is a great time for a fresh start. Whether you take advantage of the longer days by spending more time outside, going for a nighttime jog, or taking on a vegetable garden for the first time, you can bring that spirit of renewal back to the office by taking on some spring cleaning!

Getting organized is one of the top recommendations for helping to declutter your life and mind. Piles of paperwork, stacks of disorganized files, and hundreds of unread emails can make you feel hopelessly stressed. Now is a perfect time to ‘spring clean’ your office space and get a jump-start on a clean, fresh start. Being more organized is a great way gain better focus and boost our productivity, by removing physical barriers to success.

So, where to begin?

  1. Make a plan. At PDUs2Go we love a good plan, and the best way to begin...
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Conducting One on One Meetings

leadership Mar 20, 2019

There are many different types of meetings you will likely experience during your tenure as a project manager. From online conference calls to presentations for stakeholders, being able to successfully navigate a meeting is a crucial skill needed for success. However – one very specific meeting format is particularly important for project managers, and often overlooked. While you may be a charismatic leader who keeps their employees laughing through your presentations or group meetings… are you putting the time and attention you need into your one-on-one meetings?

Whether you regularly conduct performance reviews or are responsible for addressing poor employee conduct, one on one meetings can be slightly awkward for individuals who feel uncomfortable in this more intimate setting. And, handling a sensitive situation poorly in a closed-door meeting can lead to alienating employees that you may be trying to bolster. So, what can you do to make sure that you are handling...

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Taking Back Control of Your Time

leadership Mar 13, 2019

Time – it’s the one things we never seem to have enough of. From meeting project deadlines, to fitting in our weekly meetings, to getting out of the office at a decent hour… time never seems to be on our side in this busy day and age. To compensate for missed deadlines and growing workloads- we often work longer hours, weekends, and holidays. Demanding work schedules are leading to more stressed and increasingly unhealthy lifestyles. In today’s world of high expectations and increasing production demands, how do we take back control of our time and create a reasonable work-life balance?

Since we are unable to magically make more hours in the day, we must find a way to make better use of the time we have provided. While there is research to suggest that our jobs are more demanding than those of our predecessors (thanks to the increase in real-time results and a faster moving world), our distractions have also become more numerous. Therefore- one of the most...

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How to Achieve Big Goals

leadership Feb 27, 2019

Desmond Tutu once wisely said that “there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.” Often, as project managers our ‘elephants’ present themselves as looming deadlines on seemingly impossibly large deliverables. And one of our greatest obstacles is that we aren’t dining alone, we are depending on our teammates to attack their section of the elephant at the same time. So, how do we, as PMPs, effectively ‘eat the elephant’? We learn to manage our teams to achieve BIG goals.

Management can, however, be a deceiving topic. After all, half-heartedly wrangling a team to scramble together deliverables can be considered ‘management’. But this form of management can only fulfill that role for so long, before breaking down. Real, skilled project management is the process of intentionally taking actions that support both your employees and the organization you serve. Great management skills, like a lot of things, are skills that...

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Managing Telecommuting Employees

leadership Feb 21, 2019

Working remotely has become a hot trend across multiple industries- and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. As of 2018, 4.3 million employees now work from home at least half the time, an increase of 140% since 2005. For project managers, this opens the door to more flexibility and a larger staff pool, but may also increase the anxiety that their teams may not work together as effectively as they need.

Experts have found countless benefits to trading in your stilettos for slippers. In fact, 2/3 of managers report an increase in production for their stay-at-home employees, citing a lack on distraction and more room to focus. You may also be surprised to learn that telecommuters typically earn more than than office counterparts, and hold higher position within the company. Of course there are numerous benefits personally for individuals who work from home, including cutting out the dreaded morning commute.

With all the perceived benefits of working from home- why...

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How INTELLIGENT Are You?

leadership Feb 12, 2019

Did you know that there are 2 kinds of intelligence that help assess whether or not you will be successful in a leadership role? While your intellectual intelligence helps propel you through school and land a good score on your SATs, emotional intelligence is actually a higher predictor for how successful you will be once you score the job of your dreams. And if your dream job involves managing people, your emotional awareness and regulation are absolutely essential to doing so effectively.

What is emotional intelligence? Emotional Intelligence is the ability to sense, understand and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions to facilitate higher levels of collaboration and productivity, and is often cited as the fundamental difference in superior decision making and performance. Emotional intelligence, in essence, is the ability to effectively manage emotions. And unlike IQ, EQ actually increases over time, giving you an added edge. Therefore, EQ awareness and management...

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5 Tactics for Conflict Resolution

leadership Feb 06, 2019

Diversity can often be a treasured asset on a team. Different personalities bring different strengths and interests, and can be the perfect recipe for constructive collaboration- in a best case scenario. However- diverse teams, with strong differing opinions and poor communication- can sometimes lead to the inevitable… inner team conflict. As unpleasant as it may be, mediating battling teammates is a scenario project managers need to be prepared for.

From time off requests to perceived slights or preferential treatment, there are a million small things can throw off the delicate balance of a team. When individual rely on each other for success, like they do in a team, this can be the death of a project. While we can do our best to avoid it, quickly acknowledging and mediating team conflicts can be just as effective. In fact, while unpleasant, team conflict can be an avenue for both team and individual growth. If dealt with correctly, it can lead to a stronger team with a...

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Leaders Vs Managers

leadership Jan 22, 2019

Leaders Vs Managers

We may all be project managers… but are we all project leaders? Managing a group of people or a project plan typically means that we help direct activities or have something to do with guiding the behaviors and actions of our team. But, there is a difference between telling members of our team what to do, and inspiring them to take action. Have you considered whether or not your team members would consider a manager or leader? Or, what distinguishes a leader from a manager?

‘Leaders’ are often distinguished from ‘managers’ by the level of commitment and involvement they have with their team members. For instance, a manager may see their team members as employees who help them achieve a task; whereas a leader sees their teammates as individuals whose skills they can help develop. Managers may be singularly focused on the task at hand, while leaders look toward the bigger picture. Leaders are thought to be more forward-thinking...

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