As a project management software company, we spend many hours drawing inspiration from everyday life to make Celoxis better. For this blog we thought of flipping the story; let’s look at ways in which we draw inspiration from project management in real life.
Let’s just come out and accept it: Life is one big plan and we spend every minute of every day trying to cope up with that grand plan. Just as in project management, we live our lives planning everything down to the last level of detail. From day to day chores and tasks to long-term goals around education, career, and marriage to vacations and family functions, we rely on our planning abilities to make our lives easier and meaningful. This goes to show that planning comes naturally to human beings. We really don’t have to take a pill or go to the gym to get better at planning. We just need to apply it at the right time in the right way.
As we go through life we are required to play many different roles and sometimes, multiple roles at any a point in time. We can all agree that it gets pretty overwhelming, trying to find balance and excelling in these roles. With time we all end up making our own magic sauce for productivity. Some excel at two jobs, some balance school, and work, some run a successful business alongside a full-time job and some strike the right balance between a job and a hobby. A lot of it is just about will. Once you make up your mind, you can be as productive as you wish to be. There are always well-documented techniques that could come to your aid.
You won’t always have the means to get stuff done. You may be short on funds, short on time or short on help. Well, that’s how life goes. On the plus side, it teaches you to manage your resources wisely. This is one trait we should learn well irrespective of whether we have the resources or not. Think about astronauts on space travel or trekkers on expeditions; if they don’t master their resource management skills they will be in for some rude surprises. This reminds of the movie “The Martian”; the moment astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) realizes that he has to spend a few more months on Mars before supplies come in, he gets down to counting his potatoes. We are all wired to survive and resource management is the most important skill needed for survival.
From accumulating pennies in piggy banks to running a household, budget management is something we start very early in life. Managing money is tricky business; you squeeze too tight or you loosen the strings too much, you could end up with a lot of stress. Like all other aspects, budget management is all about the balance between spending, saving and investing. This is an area that takes time but it’s not as tough as it seems. The key is to start early and master the game.
Why do parents of toddlers spend so much of their time and energy baby-proofing their house? Why do we keep tasting the food as we cook it? Why do we do dry runs of presentations? Risk Management! If you really think about it, we spend a good part of our time and energy pre-empting risks in every sphere of our life, so that we prepared to mitigate. It’s just that we like surprises, but only the good ones 🙂
These are just a few of the many parallels between project management and everyday life. The key is to be smart about putting these abilities to good use when the opportunity presents itself. In life, personal or professional, it’s the survival of the smartest!