The Cure for Overload

by Lakecia Carter, PMP

One of the most common states of today’s Project Manager can be summed up in one word : “Overloaded”. In efforts to become more efficient, we’ve placed a heavy burden on the PM’s shoulders. I am sure that we are overloaded because we are so good, right? The reality is, when we are managing on overload, we are not at our best. We tend to make mistakes and overlook the important details. After so long, we become drained. We all experience high-peak seasons from time to time, but when overload is a constant part of our daily lives, there is a serious issue. If you are stuck on overload, there are a few tips that can get you over the load:

Accept your limitations. There is a purpose for personal boundaries: they keep you from falling. Each individual has a different level, therefore, you should never compare yourself to others. Ask yourself, what will they do without you and the answer is “life will go on”. Things may slow down for a season, but the sun will rise the next morning, whether you show up or not.

Accept others’ help. We are all familiar with the saying “If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself”. While this may be true sometimes, we may be the obstacle to getting help that we need. Sometimes we’ve been in the trenches so long, that we aren’t able to clearly communicate the need. Re- evaluate the tasks you are expecting someone else to cover and make sure there is a fit. You shouldn’t have to worry about it once it leaves your watch.

Accept a new norm. In a world where we accept working while on vacation and sending emails at 1 a.m. in the morning, it may be difficult to make permanent changes. Take one load at a time. Make sure that your personal ROI yields the greatest return.

The cure for overload is simple. It begins with you. What are some ways that you can prevent overload from taking you down?

If you found these tips from Lakecia Carter, PMP of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in her self-paced, downloadable courses at PDUs2Go.com.

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