Long time no see (write)

Sorry for the quiet period, but I’ve been managing some pretty complex and time consuming projects. As fun and exciting as this was/still is, I was totally drained out of energy after 5 intense months. But nothing a 2 week vacation in sunny Greece can’t fix!

Greek holiday

Coming back from this short break with a clearer head, I started reading “The Power of Habit” (by C. Duhigg) again, and now it seemed more relevant to the things I was experiencing. Besides general thoughts on how to create more habits to make your life easier, a particular chapter about “willpower” caught my attention.

Book

This chapter states that willpower can be trained, similar to a muscle, by creating small willpower habit loops. And the easiest way to do this is by planning ahead and preparing yourself mentally for situations that might occur when you’ll try to use your willpower to do something.

Besides having a more relaxed work flow, learn to keep calm and organize my time and my projects better, I’ve been also working on trying to keep a healthier & fitter life (you know, the usual “eat less, excercise more” thing). So to give a simple example from this area: there are days when I find it extremely hard to go jogging in the park. I feel so tired and “not in the mood”, and all I want to do is drink my coffee, scan my emails, eat my breakfast and do my usual morning routine before going to work. What I’ve discovered though is that if I actually ignore these cravings, and tell myself that I’ll have time to do them later (because yes, I woke up earlier), then I get dressed and run to the park almost immediately. So expecting this obstacle, I now know how to handle it.

Habit Loop

You might be wondering what this has to do with Project Management :). Well, as it turns out, creating willpower habits in one area of your life influences the other, making it easier for you to create patterns and to plan ahead. Avoiding obstacles in projects is something we do on a daily basis, and the knowledge to do so is either earned through experience, or learned from others. Hence the importance of all these PM books and blogs. It’s good to see that: “OMG Those guys have the same problems we do with projects and clients.” (like one of our peers said), and be mentally prepared about what’s coming your way.

I think this is what made me write again on my blog — even if I have a very small audience, it feels nice to share problems and solutions, and “be in this together” :). So yes, you’ll be hearing from me more often in the future. Thanks for sticking around!

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