20 Principles of a Successful Project Manager: Part 2

20 Principles of a Successful Project Manager: Part 2

11. Setting Goals to drive you for success

When it comes to work and its drive, nothing motivates people more than goals.  Setting a goal is something many look past and don’t think it is important. When in fact when people set a clear vision and “unachievable task” in front of them, they start to look at work and its hardships differently.  Diving into the mentality that you have to put in work to achieve milestones will boost your work ethic. We suggest setting two different goals, short-term goal, and a long-term goal. An example of a short-term goal can be, buying a new car.  That's nothing too drastic and unattainable. When it comes to long-term goals you need to set them really high, for intense buying your dream house or traveling to 20 countries in one year. They need to get you excited everytime you think of them.  There's is nothing more motivating when you have a lot of work to get done and you are just out of enthusiasm, but all of the sudden you remember that you have things to achieve. It's also very beneficial if you make a plan as to how can you achieve your goals.  This may be a long and tough process but in the end, achieving long-term goals is something not many can accomplish. You need to start somewhere and the first place is yourself and your interests. 

12. Chronos and chiros

Everybody has tasks, that is just inevitable.  Every job has its duties to accomplish throughout the day. Many of us how come do not divide those tasks into what is called chronos and chiros.  Let's start with chiros, these are tasks where you have to actually plan them out because you know it is on your agenda.  A good way to handle these tasks is to set time periods throughout the calendar. For instance, you are building a semantic core for a website, it's work needs to be spread out accordingly. This will ensure that you will make time and not rush to complete it all in one day. Spreading out the work into an organized application such as Google Calendar is one of our most used applications at Direct Line Development.  

What are chronos then?  These are small tasks that come about your day.  They are not as big as chiros and don’t need a whole lot of time to complete them.  For instance, while you take your five min break in between a big task, you decide to go outside and breathe some fresh air. While you are outside a small task can be managed such as taking the mail from the office mailbox or even watering the office plants.  When you treat tasks with an organized approach such as chronos and chiros you will be amazed how much you will achieve in one day. The takeaway from this technique is to make sure you can distinguish the difference between big and small tasks.

13. Materials that we consume

Project Management in any industry requires you to stay up to date with its technology or business practices.  Most would just turn to some Reddit article or a YouTube video. We are not saying it is bad or not important but you need to focus on the right material. For example, if you are in the Digital Marketing industry, reading about the latest SEO trends is very valuable.  What we mean by this is to not find yourself filling up your head with useless information. Reading and trying to understand what is going on in a 3rd world country is not going to help you complete your weekly progress report.  It is normal to read the news to get your daily dose of news but you need to understand that it is impossible to know everything that is going on around the world. Putting your focus and energy will simply be a waste and you will turn your brain into a trash can full of useless information.

14. Learn More from Books

We suggest taking a different route, a more beneficial and definitely effective. Reading books! As corny and “Ty Lopezy” as it sounds books really do bring you the knowledge that will help you grow. Reading one serious book a week may sound crazy and unrealistic, especially with the crazy schedules that we all have. But in our day and age, there are no excuses because we have the technology to execute.  Audio Books is a very powerful platform that you can listen to on the way to work, whether it be communicating in a car or on a train. If you do a calculation and add up the number of hours it takes you to commute to work over the week you would be surprised.  There is a huge bank of time that you could turn from being wasted and into a productive resource.

When reading your books it's important to do so effectively.  Try and focus on three main chapters that truly speak to you. If you will be reading one serious book a week it is impossible to completely dive and understand the book that you are reading. After you have finished your weekly book, it will be time to choose another book.  The key is to not read about the same topic, so try and read about something completely different. This will ensure your brains agility and versatility. Expanding your knowledge and intelligence is something everyone should have under their task list. For there to be progress you need to put in the work to help you get there. Reading is coming back into fashion and there should be no more excuses as to why you couldn't read a book this week.

15. Keeping your entertainment to a minimum

We all love to binge watch our favorite TV shows or Netflix series such as “Game of Thrones”. There is certainly nothing wrong with relaxing and enjoying your free time watching your favorite shows.  But it is critical that you don’t overdo it, keep it to a certain extent. We suggest limiting yourself to only 4 hours a week. You may say are you crazy?! How will I be able to watch all of the episodes?  This is where compromise comes in. You need to understand that we limit ourselves for a reason. Spending all of your free time and watching someone's fantasy is great and all, but you could shift your free time and go to the park or the beach with friends. You do not want to become a vegetable, to prevent that keep your binge-watching to a minimum and go out exploring the world.  

16.Checking Email

This might be a simple one but very important.  No matter what industry you are in you will end up receiving a ton of emails. But the questions is “Do you drop everything that you are doing each time an email is received in your inbox?”  If you said yes then that is a big problem. You need to learn to check emails once every hour. Distracting yourself from a task just to check on a new email that you received will lead you nowhere.  This principle is very simple but very effective. You need to have a schedule to when you will be checking your inbox because being a project manager is all about proper time management.

17. Your Sleeping Schedule

The most obvious fact about being a Project Manager is that you have multiple tasks at once and things need to be done quickly and properly.  That can be all very overwhelming and for such job, you need the proper rest. We all know how important sleep is and most of us don’t get enough of it.  That said, having a set and stone scheduled time to get to bed will only increase your productivity at work. The most effective way to wake up is setting your alarm thirty minutes before you have to get up with a relaxing melody. When your second alarm rings and you actually have to wake up, it should sound more energetic.  This will ensure that you will start the day smoothly.

18. Taking Breaks throughout the work day

Focusing on tasks after tasks can be very exhausting and the end result is not great.  This is because you put your focus on work and not let your brain to relax. For example when you are analyzing your client's competitors to draw out the perfect strategy can get exhausting. Simply taking a five-minute break every hour can help increase productivity. The best way to do that is to get up and get the blood flowing.  Sitting in a chair in front of a computer screen for more than two hours can be very exhausting and affect your productivity. Simply taking a small break and getting your mind off work is proven to help Project Managers be more productive and efficient.

Have you noticed that after lunchtime, you suddenly get sleepy or lose focus at work? That is due to our biological clock that dictates our energy levels and therefore, productivity. Of course, it depends on your body and habits, but according to the theory, the highest energy levels are from 7 to 10 am and the lowest is from 12 to 3 pm. No wonder why some of us begin to drink coffee to recharge after lunch. Some time management experts recommend taking a quick nap after lunch. And a few countries practice it in a form of a siesta.

19. Time is money!

Its safe to say that whenever you get sidetracked from a task or a project you lose money. Understanding that time is valuable will help you focus on working efficiently and effectively.  For example when you are making up a report for your boss or you just have a question. You need to break down exactly what you need to discuss with him and address. Predicting the questions that he might ask is something you need to learn to master. When you are scheduling your meeting to run for 30 minutes, make sure you prepare for any questions that may come up.  Going back to the topic of being sidetracked, when you are taking your five-minute break. Which is very important to have to be recharged and refocused. Have the office side conversations with your colleagues then. This is key for good time management. Getting into the habit of focusing on work and not get distracted for a certain period of time will ensure that the work will get done.

20. Your Passion pushes the work    

When you plan to work at the same job for the coming future it is important that it’s actually something that you enjoying doing and dealing with.  You have to ask yourself this question. Am I happy with what I do at work? What can I do that makes me happy? If you have answered those two questions you be will successful in your field. Be it selling custom websites and ERP/CRM solutions or being a programmer.  Any successful person will tell you that passion and a good work ethic comes from a place that interests you the most. The process behind that thought comes when things get hard. If things get difficult at your job and you do not have the interest from the beginning, you will not have the drive to push you to work.  It is vital that you find yourself and your passion before diving into any type of field.

George Kalashnikov
George Kalashnikov


The email piece is so true and important. I have found that scheduling time at different points in a day make it so much more efficient. Focus on your current task, complete it, move on.

I believe this article can be useful for anyone who has an intense work schedule. Sometimes we forget that organizing our life outside of workspace helps us to be more effective at work.

Sleeping can re-energize your body and reset your mind, too. Another way to reset is to leave work at the office when you are headed home for the day. That way you're not worrying about work all day and use that time off to recharge your batteries.

I can so see how our energy levels are the highest from 7-10 am and lowest after lunch. I agree that working more efficiently is the key rather than not being as productive if you are tired at work!

This is a great article for anyone who works. You need to always make sure you are organized and have the passion to do your work so you can do it to your greatest ability, and this article shows that!

Organization is key. The ability to prioritize your tasks on a schedule that makes your work life easier is a big asset.

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Stephen Greenspan
Stephen Greenspan
(215) 901-2356