5 Tips From a PM to Apply to Everyday Life

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Written by Siobhan Johansen

In the fast-paced whirlwind of modern life, juggling tasks, deadlines, expectations, and personal goals can feel overwhelming. However, there are strategies that can transform chaos into clarity and boost your productivity and time management at work or, provide a helping hand in your day-to-day life. One role that transforms chaos into clarity is project management – whether for an ad agency like Spawn Ideas or an engineering firm. Here are five tips from our project managers to apply to your everyday life.

1. Lists and reminders are your best friends.

  • Take the stress off your memory and make yourself a to-do list. Whether scribbled in a notebook or neatly organized on your phone, there’s nothing more satisfying than crossing off your completed tasks each day. Lists provide structure and direction, turning daunting objectives into manageable steps. 
  • Reminders are also a great tool and a helpful way to ensure that tasks don’t slip through the cracks, providing a gentle nudge precisely when you need it. If you’re worried about missing a deadline or know that there are certain things, like watering your plants, that you’ll forget to do, add a recurring reminder so your brain gets a break and your stress levels (hopefully) go down.

2. Communication is key.

  • Assuming someone’s meaning or intention never works out how you want it to. Having clear communication at the start of a project helps everything down the road, and likewise, having clear communication in your daily life will help ease confusion or annoyances with your friends and family. You assumed your sister was making dinner on Friday night, but then the day came, and she thought you would cook? Boo! Checking with her on Monday about what the plan is for Friday dinner so you both know what to expect? Yay! Clear communication not only strengthens teamwork and relationships but also prevents misunderstandings and frustrations.
  • At Spawn, we operate with the mantra: There is no such thing as a stupid question. Internalize it, and make sure your team knows that, too, especially if they’re young. Cultivating an environment that allows team members to feel comfortable asking questions will strengthen communications and lay a robust foundation for success.

3. Don’t try to do it all alone.

  • No one can do it all alone, nor should they have to. At agencies, we have multiple teams: project management, account management, creative, media, etc. We don’t expect one person to do or know it all. Loading everything onto your shoulders, whether at work or in your personal life, is a recipe for burnout and stress. Life can be challenging enough, so reach out to your network and let them ease some of the burden when needed.

4. There’s more than one way to tackle a problem.

  • Perfectionism can be paralyzing, preventing progress before it even begins. Sometimes, you need to write the worst first draft the world has ever seen or draw the roughest sketch in the history of art to get the ball rolling and kickstart your momentum. You can’t edit a blank page, and there is an immediate relief in getting a start.
  • Remember, there’s no singular right way to approach challenges and projects. Embrace versatility, exploring different avenues and solutions. Innovation thrives when we break free from the constraints of tradition, paving the way for creativity and efficiency.

5. Do what helps future you.

  • Procrastination often tempts us, but consider the gratitude of future you when current you tackles problems promptly. Whether it’s making that crucial phone call or addressing pressing issues, prioritizing future benefits over momentary comfort sets the stage for long-term success.

Take it from a PM: by implementing these strategies, you will enhance your productivity and cultivate a more focused and freeing mindset that propels you toward your goals. Harness the power of lists, foster open communication, embrace collaboration, prioritize future actions, and dare to explore new possibilities. 

At Spawn Ideas, we fuel the curious and wild in people by genuinely getting to know them. So, if your brand helps customers embrace adventure, travel and wellbeing, we’ll turn your reason to be into a reason to buy. Our staff works hard to live well in places like Denver, Colorado, and Anchorage, Alaska.

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