When managing various projects, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with the number of tasks you find yourself responsible for. You may be looking at other busy project managers and wondering, “How do they hold themselves together? How do they have enough time in the day to complete all their tasks and have some me-time?”
If you’ve ever plagued yourself with this question, rest assured that the individuals you are comparing yourself to are rarely as organized as they lead you to believe. They are just as susceptible to feeling burnt out as you are. However, they may have mastered a few necessary skills in order to avoid burnout while managing various projects.
If you’re an experienced project manager, you probably know the importance of planning ahead for projects. Perhaps you’ve learned from times past, in which you didn’t plan accordingly for a project, and it ended up having detrimental consequences. What you might not have realized is that planning ahead also helps prevent burnout.
By breaking down a large task into smaller, incremental steps, you will have a better idea of where you are at in the project and if any adjustments need to be made. Sometimes projects do not follow the plan exactly, but having a method in place will better prepare you for if and when these plans go awry. Prevent yourself from becoming burnt out by having a course of action in place prior to beginning a project.
Allow Yourself to Rest
A million responsibilities may be floating around in your head, keeping you up at night and preventing you from getting adequate rest. You may feel undeserving of taking time for yourself, especially if you’re falling behind on any projects. It is natural to feel as if you’ll fall even further behind in your plans if you take time to rest. But this time to yourself is actually extremely necessary in preventing burnout.
Rather than working yourself to the limit and possibly growing too exhausted to deliver positive results, allow yourself some downtime or take an early night in. You’ll soon find that getting an adequate amount of sleep will make you more productive.
Be Able to Say No
Once you’ve gotten into the habit of taking on new responsibilities, it can be hard to decline other opportunities as they arise. It is natural to want to help as many people as possible or be a more productive individual. After all, every project you complete only enhances your resume even further.
However, if you’re having multiple opportunities come your way, you need to be able to pick and choose which, if any, you will take on. Choose which projects you are most interested in so that you can spend your time doing what you enjoy. If you’re declining projects, make sure you do so in a professional manner and do not cut off ties should another project arise in the future.