Stress and Project Management: 5 Ways to Relieve Project Pressure
Project managers have many sources of stress. They are responsible for the performance of their team members, and often for whether a project is successful or fails.
As stress levels rise, performance decreases. As a project manager, that means you may be missing deadlines, going over budget, missing ordering windows, or forgetting key details and tasks.
When working on a time crunch is part of your job, here are five things you can do to handle the pressure.
1. Take Care of Yourself
When you are under a lot of stress, it is important to stay alert, energized, and efficient. If you are overly tired, hungry, or irritable, you cannot be any of the things you need to be in order to be a successful project manager.
If I’m feeling overwhelmed, instead of staying up late and rushing through my to-do list, I’ll take the night off to recharge. I’ll turn my phone off, go for a run, watch a movie, and just completely seperate myself from work. After a good night’s sleep, I’ll wake up a few hours early the next morning, ready to complete each task with a fresh perspective—and with work that’s high-quality, instead of rushed and mediocre.
2. Set the Example
Your team members look to you to see how to react to stress. If you are upset about a deadline and being overly emotional or irrational, that’s the example and tone you are setting for the entire office. Make sure you stay level-headed so you can set the example for all team members.
3. Delegate Responsibility
You’ve probably been told this before, but you can’t do it all yourself. You will burn out quicker and have more stress than necessary. You have a team for a reason—delegate tasks and jobs to the people on your team and trust them to get the job done.
I’ve even used freelancers and contractors to complete menial tasks that would have taken an hour or two out of my day. Even if it may cost you for a virtual assistant to help you complete the task, I think the opportunity cost is worth it because it gives you the opportunity to focus on what’s really important.
4. Say No
Your employees don’t have to like you; they just need to work efficiently as a team. You don’t have to say yes to every little thing, and sometimes, you can’t keep extending their deadlines. Learn to say no and make people stick to what they signed up for.
5. Use the Best Software
You are in charge of overseeing everything, from payroll to supply ordering. Make sure that you are using software that is current, fast, efficient, and can handle all the tasks and management responsibilities that you face on a daily basis. Read reviews and research project management software for an honest and accurate opinion on business software.
Being a project manager is a responsibility that can be very stressful but also very rewarding. Keep the pressure off with these stress reduction steps to ensure a smoothly functioning team.