Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal had an article on job stress that says that being expected to do more with less, a familiar mantra can cause serious heart disease.
I can actually name several very brilliant project managers who have left work in an ambulance, some never to return.
Herman the PM is not surprised: The message that you Can DO more with less is very offensive and drives him nuts 1) because it is irrational; 2) because you don’t really get more done well, but what you DO get are more problems bouncing back because of lack of focus, or due to the state of frenzy that generates work or meetings that make things less efficient, and more costly. Jackman’s profound question: Have you EVER seen a task take less than it took? Not without a team attack! Use one.
Today: Get rid of as many bureaucratic hoops as you can in this way . Get managers to help. Cut, prune, expose, streamline every day.
Re-brand your project, and taking control of those boss meetings, focus on “getting through other department’s hoops faster” and getting the support you need to do it.
Who are the most frustrating HOOPs targets? Start with the easiest to negotiate and influence those folks to help you brand your projects as a success, and a great example of collaboration. Get those GREEN lights instead of RED Ones. Write those people up for HELPING and NOT hindering you, broadcast how efficient they are trying to be for you: acknowledge, acknowledge, acknowledge, and do this with sincerity.
This final piece is on your own time wasters, attitudes that interfere, and your openness to change. Four questions need to be asked after you read all this: What do you need to let go of? (that costs you at least 6 minutes a day) Who can help you? What is the best way to get the folks on your project to stop wasting each other’s time or energy through lack of accountability, or lack of interest?
Use those holes in your schedule for positive politics and influence. Go to lunch again instead of eating old pizza or food bars! Walk around the building with a HOOP type. Let them know what you need. LET then help you. Help them.
Before you answer these questions, we need to review where we have been.
Going for six more minutes a day!
Monday– create new habits? Get email and meetings under control first. This will return a great return on a new investment of energy. One meeting eliminated, or increases in effectiveness can reap you better health. Get people to get to meetings early and end early. Create some space between meetings and guard it.
Tuesday’s blog focused on re-branding your project to make it more exciting, more relevant, and to promote commitment to support you. You can do this by getting more visibility in terms of what you are doing. I know one IT guy that got himself published. He was behind on all his projects. It was the only way he could impress the boss two levels up–and showed career savvy. He is still not stellar, but he is now known. And, ironically, he looks more valuable and gets resources. His success is UP.
Tuesday’s blog also emphasized people who surf your schedule and then dive into your life. Find out who is doing this (boss or peer) and stop it. Defend your THINK time.
And finally, create a dashboard that others can see so they don’t HAVE TO ask.
Wednesday we looked at boss time in another way. Make those meetings more exciting for you boss and they WILL let you work. Create that dashboard to access (rather than you).
Thursday, we focused on better questioning with your boss. Using positive inquiry, you
Focus on what is going well, and why? How does this get time back. It is very subtle.
Being positive makes you less frenetic, more motivated, and MORE productive, less reactive.
Thanks God it is now Friday! Do not work this weekend. THINK again.
So what are you going to let go of ? What new habit can you try with your boss(es)?
What hoops can you streamline to show your agility?
Good luck! And share success stories so others believe this is all possible.
We are waiting to hear your secret moves. Herman is eager to learn.