Project management isn’t just for the workplace. Everyone can benefit from using project management principles for their personal lives, too. Here are some project management principles for personal projects.
- Define the goals and scope of the project before it starts. “I want to become more fit” is a great goal, but it has no measurable way to define success. You need to pick metrics to measure, and a defined goal for the end. “I want to drop two waist sizes and be able to do 25 pushups.”
- Delegate tasks effectively, and use time management techniques to schedule them optimally. Of course, delegating tasks is very simple when the only person in the team is you (“OK, me. You’ll do the grocery shopping. And you, me, you’ll put the groceries away”). But what I mean here is knowing when to schedule things, and which part of you will be there to do them. You aren’t you when you’re tired, and you don’t have the same abilities. Don’t leave that paper to be written up for 11:00 pm!
- Track your progress and success. Tracking progress isn’t just for status reports for management. It’s also a powerful motivating tool. We all like to finish things – having a visual presentation of how far along something is, and how much is left to do, motivates us to actually go and do them. So make those Gantt charts and timelines!
- Manage your risks effectively. Know what your critical chain is! If your goal is to get fit, and you’ve taken out a gym membership, you need to know that the critical chain is the actual drive there. “Ugghhh, I need to get dressed, get in the car, pack clothes and towels and stuff, drive there, work out, I’m so hungry and tired and I’m just not interested…” This might not be the critical chain, actual time wise (how far is the gym already?), but it is in terms of your mental process. Be aware of the critical chain! Manage the risks accordingly.
You can do it! With the right planning and techniques, you can accomplish any goal you set for yourself.