7 Mistakes to Avoid When Managing a Big Project

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Managing a Big Project

Image source: StockSnap It turns out that you are more likely to fail than to succeed in handling and completing a big project. According to statistics, fewer than a third of all projects were successfully completed on time and within the budget over the past year, only 56% of all project managers are certified, and most of the time 80% of them they have no idea how their projects align with their company’s business strategy. Nevertheless, an astounding 97% of organizations believe project management is critical to business performance and organizational success, which is why you – as a project manager – should give it your best to get things done on time and within the budget. To accomplish that, you should have a proper plan, an excellent drive and a mindset to avoid making critical mistakes when managing a big project. 1) Failing to Define Goals   When your team isn’t given a clear set of goals, they will waste more time on figuring out what should be done than doing the actual work. Simply put, they can’t be productive if they have no clue what they’re working for, or what their work means. That implies that there will be problems with prioritizing, so the tasks will most likely get completed in the wrong order. 2) False risks assessment     Underestimating or refusing to acknowledge risk can ultimately derail both your schedule and your project plan, thus increasing project costs dramatically. On the other hand, overestimating risks is detrimental to a project as well, since being overly cautious will keep you from taking action. Assess risks and...
3 Ways to Stop Multitasking and Become Insanely Productive

3 Ways to Stop Multitasking and Become Insanely Productive

Multitasking is one of the most coveted job skills out there. After all, we’d all love to be the rock star worker who can tackle multiple projects at once without batting an eye. However, while it would nice to take on everything at once, studies show that it’s horrible for productivity and focus. It’s been proven again and again that multitasking detracts from the work quality of everything you’re doing, while destroying cognitive ability on all fronts. With that in mind, here are some pointers on how to stop multitasking in a demanding workplace: Allow yourself to unplug Sure, tech has done wonders for society’s productivity as a whole. However, the day-to-day bleeps, notifications and emails are not helping your focus. Unplugging can do wonders for limiting the urgency to multitask created by electronics. However, as with everything else, we need to be realistic; you can’t live the life of a caveman, and you certainly can’t banish electronics from your office. Instead, find time in your day to detach from media and electronic devices. Block off an email-free hour, or leave your phone stuffed in a drawer for the morning. Trust me, those messages will still be there when you return. Use tech to fight tech Tech is finally starting to fight back against itself in the battle to end multitasking. There are numerous apps, plugins and widgets out there that can eliminate non-essential electronics to help your productivity. Since you can’t live the life of a caveman, this is the next best step. For, instance, I use tools to pair down and filter my email. I obviously can’t...
5 Smart Tips To Help You Stay Focused, No Matter What

5 Smart Tips To Help You Stay Focused, No Matter What

In today’s digital age, it’s hard to stay focused among all the bleeps and notifications coming from our smartphones, computers and fitness watches. In fact, studies have found that on average, humans have shorter attention spans than goldfish. So, in today’s world of constant digital bombardment and work demands, how do you actually stay focused? While our brains are extremely powerful, they’re pulled in multiple directions at once. Thankfully, you can train your brain to stay focused on the task at hand with some expert tips: Avoid multitasking While multitasking might sound neat on a job description, it actually detracts from the work quality of everything you’re doing, and destroys you productivity. Instead of letting multitasking hijack your productivity, consider prioritizing instead. Rank your tasks in terms of importance, and take them on one at a time in order of priority. This won’t only help your focus, but it will utilize your depleting mental batteries on the most important things first. Do your ABCs No — not the alphabet, but this trick from Harvard Business Review is just as simple to learn. It’s a way to stomp “your brain’s brake pedal” when a distraction pops up, and it involves three steps: First, become aware of your options — you can either give into the distraction, or keep going. Next, breathe deeply. Finally, choose what option you’ll move forward with. Most likely, after taking these steps, you’ll be able to continue on with your task. Use tech to fight back  The research found that these alerts send a message to our brains that something else is urgently needing our attention, when in reality, it is...
How to Destroy Your Procrastination Habits For Good

How to Destroy Your Procrastination Habits For Good

People procrastinate for many reasons, but the result is always the same: they rush to get the task done at the last minute or miss the deadline. Even though it feels frustrating to procrastinate, people still continue this bad habit. Why? According to Caroline Webb in the Harvard Business Review, our brains are programmed to put off tasks. Webb shows research from UCLA proving that the allure of near-term gain almost always outweighs the attraction of future reward. Given the choice between concrete and more abstract ideas, our brain naturally sides with more material notions. But just because our brains are seemingly working against us doesn’t mean we can’t overcome procrastination. Instead, it should inspire us to work at the task even more because it isn’t a personal flaw but a part of our natural make-up that can be re-trained. Without further ado, here is the research backed-guide to get started: Find an Accountability Partner When we share our goals with someone else, it creates social pressure, but unlike the peer pressure we faced in high school, this type can lead to success. Sharing your goals with a partner can create a system where you have a cheerleader and walking living reminder to stop procrastinating. In fact, according to Webb’s research, experts have found that we instinctively want to be respected by peers, and are more likely to reach our goals this way. So when you have a task at work to complete, tell someone when you will finish it. If you tell a client or employee exactly when you’ll get something done, your brain will feel more obligated...
5 Bad Professional Habits You Need to Drop to Become Ultra-Successful

5 Bad Professional Habits You Need to Drop to Become Ultra-Successful

The New Year is a perfect time to rejuvenate your success, and adopt new routines to surge forward. That’s all well and good, but what about your bad professional habits? We often become so ingrained in our routines that we fail to notice the ones that are dragging us down. So this New Year, we’re inviting you to look at your bad habits, and drop them like, well…bad habits. It won’t be a cakewalk, but it will allow you to replace your harmful routines with positive outcomes. Start shifting these behaviors today and you’ll be amazed at just how far you get in 2017: Procrastinating When “tomorrow syndrome” starts to rear its ugly head, it’s easy to get caught up in its effects and delay projects ‘till the last millisecond. Before you know it, procrastination can cause looming deadlines to snowball, and destroy productivity and motivation in the process. Instead of procrastinating, the experts recommend you take on bite-sized chunks of a project. This can remove the intimidation factor, and get the ball rolling towards productivity with minimal effort. For instance, if you have to build a whole website, consider setting a simple goal of designing the logo. It will be hard to go back to your bad professional habits once you start being productive instead. Distracted listening With a million and a half things going on, it’s easy to get distracted when listening to others (especially if it’s a boring topic). However, as uninteresting as the conversation might be, you should know that listening has been attributed as one of the make-or-break factors for successful leadership. So if...
3 Awesome Ways to Make Your Habits Stick

3 Awesome Ways to Make Your Habits Stick

The internet (and our site!) is chock full of awesome habits that can shift your life towards success. As you probably know, this is easier said than done. When life gets in the way, there are tons of things that can turn our successful habits into occasional wishes. Thankfully, there are some-science backed ways to make your habits stick like glue: Create specific actions. To the successful, a dream isn’t something achieved by deliberating how to reach it, but rather a specific, well-conceived desire that always happens. That’s why the scientific key to creating an iron-clad habit is to state when and where you intend to perform the action. Renowned entrepreneur and habit expert James Clear reports that in a study performed by the British Journal of Health Psychology, people who set an intention by creating an action plan of when and where to work out had a 91 percent success rate in making time for exercise each week. The two other groups, a control group and a group who simply read a motivational pamphlet on the health benefits of exercise, had just 38 and 35 percent success rates, respectively. For example, instead of saying you will be more efficient in your workday, try setting a digital calendar notification for reading your email only in the morning, at noon, and before you go home, and then let it snowball from there. Make a backup plan. As you probably know, it’s almost odd when things go exactly to plan. That’s why you need a backup plan for those inevitable roadblocks. Instead of completely derailing your habit, you’re simply discovering a new way to make it work. For instance, your...