Project Management vs. Life Management

Every project manager’s bible states three commandments.

The project must be done on time, on cost, and all deliverables must be met. Sure every Project manager has a specific wording for his commandments, but the essence is the same.

He comes to that project, knowing what he wants to do, how much time he has to do, how much money he is allowed to spend (and resources definitely), and go on and start with it.

It’s very simple to define, yet it needs a lot of hard work!

Well, what about life management?! Do we come to this life knowing what we want to do? Do we have a plan for our lives? Do we know how much time we have to implement our life plans?

I know about my life, but what about yours?!

Here’s a simple way of defining your life project that is simple, and will give you good results if you try it.

1. Look around you and see what’s there: Well, someone once told me that when we look around us, and see what is there, we get an idea of what are we doing here on this earth. Well, I’ll give you a very simple example: if you find a lot of wood around you, then you are here to become a carpenter. I know, it’s very poetic, but if you dig deep, you really will find out something!

Well, Bravo, this is great, but what about the fact that you might hate wood, or even carpeting?

2. Decide if you like what’s out there or not: This is what I call, changing the status quo. You might not like or even approve the things that are out there, this is where you decide that you need to change them.

3. Imagine yourself 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 years from now, and decide how you would like to be: This is very important for you to know the things you would like to achieve, and thus to draw a life that will eventually get you there. It’s like the song “I did it my way”, what do you want to do, so at the end you can sing that song.

4. Draw the steps that need to be taken to make you reach your destination: yes, draw the steps, same as a project manager uses his own tools to draw his project, draw your own life project. You can write it on a pen and paper; you can scribble on post-it notes, or use specific tools like MS Projects to write it… Use whatever tool you want, as long as you use something that you are comfortable with.

5. Define the resources needed: everything in life needs resources; we cannot do anything without resources. Define the resources you will need in the project of your life. Well, your resources might be very simple, or even very complicated, it depends on your life project.
6. Specify the steps needed to get those resources: you might have no problem in getting your resources, or in some cases, getting your resources might be a project by its own. Just specify what needs to be done to get them.

7. Always have contingency plans (plan B for every step): life isn’t a fairy tale, or as some comics have portrayed it, we don’t know what happened with Cinderella after she got married, nor sleeping beauty or the others… A happy ending is something that we all dream of, but we need to have a contingency plan if we aim to have one.

8. Visualize your life project: same as a project manager has a visual plan for his work; you too need to have your own visuals. It doesn’t have to be a map; it might be a picture of the cover of that book you would like to write, it might be a picture of your dream home, it might be a collage of you leading a very important company… whatever your dream is (or dreams are), you need to a have a visual that will help you all along the way.

9. Start implementing: never postpone your life a minute, when you know what it is you want to do, just go about and start doing it… right now!

Life is too short, and we are running out of time…

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