Are We There Yet?

Have you ever had a big project that felt like no matter how long or hard you worked you couldn’t seem to get it done as quickly as you expected to?  Every time you think you see some light at the end of the tunnel there is a dip or turn or obstruction and the glimmer of light fades away.  It’s a dark and lonely place, a place of low morale, frustration, burnout, hopelessness, and even despair.

It’s not uncommon to find ourselves in this predicament, in fact, I believe it is in our nature.  We experience this on both short-term and long-term tasks.  You may feel like this during moving, or pregnancy, or shoveling a mountain of snow in April, or with bays and a lot full of cars or on a remodel project or working on landing a big account or building and implementing something new at work.  If you are a successful person, (and I know you are; you are reading Reman U aren’t you? 😉) you’re likely ambitious, take on a lot, and heap pressure on yourself to keep driving forward and making things happen.  Those great qualities that help separate you from the heap are also the ones that can put you in the dark tunnel.  Few among us can charge ahead undeterred and unaffected along the journey.

Good news! The tunnel is not real and neither is the light.  Oh man, you thought I meant you were actually digging a tunnel? It’s a metaphor.😉 When we take a step or back or reach task completion and gain some perspective, the pitfalls are easy to see.

  • We are prone to underestimate time.
    • I can build that unit blindfolded in 2 hours (sure you can if everything goes perfectly and that always happens right?)
    • Your computer won’t ever crash on you while writing a Reman U or working on that spreadsheet.
  • We go into projects with assumptions.
    • I have all the parts I need for this one on hand…until you discover that failed weld on a drum you didn’t expect to replace.
    • All of our agents will show up to work today
  • The scope of work often changes.
    • Let’s add radiant flooring to this bathroom remodel as long as we’ve got it open.
    • Great demo! But, you know what would be great, if you added…
  • Resources you counted on may not be available when needed.
    • See above “All of our people will show up to work today.”
    • Helluva day for our heavy duty lifts to take a $h!t on us!
  • Unforeseen challenges and opportunities arise.
    • Did someone say golf outing?! 😊
    • You knew this would be comeback week, didn’t you?
    • Huge new fleet account but the first three absolutely must roll out tomorrow

Taking those factors into mind there are a lot of ways to safeguard ourselves and keep enthusiasm and momentum going on projects.  Some of my coworkers use project management methodologies like kanban boards (or Trello) and scrum which use simple organization tools to visualize work and progress and address estimating shortcomings.  These systems can produce great results, but there are a few things that can be done simply with a “shift” (they pay me extra for these when I use Transmission words) of mindset, or perspective.

When you feel the tunnel taking shape try:

  • Celebrating project milestones
  • Recruiting some help
  • Acknowledging unforeseen developments and adjust expectations accordingly
  • Getting some sleep or find a way to recharge your batteries
  • Pacing yourself and break up big tasks into little ones

Bottom line is you don’t have a crystal ball and sometimes you don’t know what exactly you’re getting yourself into or what will happen next.  Be reasonable with your expectations, deadlines, and assessments.  This holds true for individuals, teams, and especially leadership.  Keep going! whether you make it there today, tomorrow, or even never; you are making progress and that’s where your focus should be to stay productive and effective.

Take the Road Less Congested

It’s Thursday morning, and I’m running late for work. I scramble for my shoes, grab a banana for breakfast – don’t forget to feed the cat, oh, and remember to lock that door behind you! – I jump in my car and take off. So far so good: all the lights are green, nothing seems to be stopping me from making this the greatest late morning recovery in human history! Forget being on time, heck, I might be 10 minutes early at this rate! And then I follow the bend on to the interstate…and immediately step on my brakes.

Commuters during rush hour are estimated to spend 42 hours a year in traffic. If you have the same job for 5 years and don’t move, that’s just a little under 9 days of traffic congestion.

At this point, I realize I have two options:

  1. I can scream and honk my horn and damn the universe for having me suffer this miserable experience.
  2. I can treat traffic congestion as a perspective wake up.

The obvious lesson here is to always be prepared. Nowadays with cell phones and computers, there’s simply no excuse why I can’t just look up my workplace and find the fastest route. Often during rush hour, my phone tells me which side roads are faster at that time of day. Being prepared to identify and take the fastest route, even if it’s not the usual way, can lead to less stress about the little things in life, and subconsciously, I am more alert of my surroundings when I’m unfamiliar with the route. I notice a restaurant I’ve never seen before, a shop that looks really appealing, or maybe even a park I can take a walk in.

While making the most of a traffic scenario is one choice, perhaps I simply just need to reschedule my drive. I shouldn’t risk being late to work anyways, so maybe it’s probably time I suck it up and avoid traffic by leaving an hour earlier than usual. My work has flexible scheduling, so coming in early is never an issue. For some, work-flexibility is challenging. Could you leave early and spend that hour accomplishing hard-to-find-time-for goals you may have near or around your workplace? Need time to read that book? Interested in joining a gym? Need to do research on a job that understands the importance of flexible schedules? All of these you could make happen with an extra hour on hand.

Well, if you’ve stayed with me this far, it’s been about 4 minutes – and I’m still stuck in traffic. At this rate, being early has gone out the window and being on time is not looking so hot either. I need to accept the fact that I’m going to be late, but I also need to accept the fact that a change needs to be made not only in my work route but in my life route. I can’t keep accepting traffic and tardiness as an answer… or else I won’t be dealing with either for much longer.

Hypothetical job termination aside, it’s also important for my well-being: I don’t like traffic congestions, and I won’t accept traffic congestions. 42 hours a year is an incredible amount of time to be stuck next to semi-trucks sporting wheel spikes. I deserve better. So does everyone else in this jam. But it starts with us.

If we all choose to avoid normalcy and embrace change, even when it feels like a gamble, what’s possible? Reaching our destinations in a timely – and slightly self-improved – manner. It just might influence you to make changes elsewhere in your lifestyle.

And hey, if everyone chooses to find different routes, then some of us can maybe choose to use the interstate again!


The Video Guy hates traffic. Who doesn’t? This week, go along for the ride as he shares his advice on finding better routes – to work and in life. How do you deal with congestion? Comment below or email Andrew directly.

Accounting for the Bus Theory

On any team, each member has a role to play. In your shop, your Customer Service Manager helps customers and works to earn repeat business. Your Custodian keeps the place clean and approachable. Your Office Manager makes sure the business functions. And no one is more capable (or qualified) to diagnose, repair, and rebuild than your ASE Certified Master Technician.

Whether big or small, team roles and responsibilities often are siloed. Individual contributors focus on where they are best. And most of the time, everyone wins.

Until Bob is suddenly sick, Dani is out of town on her vacation, and Kevin put in his notice.

A few years ago, one of my own teammates took a new opportunity. Despite working together collaboratively every day and having a transition plan, doing my best in the reality of the unknown was how I spent many days, weeks, and months after.

In one moment of frustrated file searching in particular, I came to an important realization: I hadn’t been planning for this. And now, it was too late to do anything but figure it out on my own.

Enter, what we now affectionately call “The Bus Theory” on our Marketing Team. Yes, everyone has their niche, their specialty that no one else can do as well as they do. But, just because you have an expert doesn’t mean you can’t (and shouldn’t) have at least one back up – in case they get hit by a metaphoric (or real) bus.

Here are 3 ways you can use to prepare for the buses in your business:

  1. Cross-training: while having a bunch of utility players usually results in a “jack of all trades, master of none” kind of scenario, cross-training is an opportunity for individuals to gain additional skills and knowledge, whether or not they will be used daily. Especially when you introduce a new system, tool, or procedure, don’t just train those who will be most immediately affected. Train as many who want to learn.
  2. Job shadowing: as a learning tool, there is nothing quite like seeing a problem solved in action. When you’re about to tackle something particularly challenging, stop. Grab your newest coworker or your right hand (wo)man. Take them through your steps right along with you.
  3. The Bus List: whether a member of a team or the boss, keep a running list of what you do. Update it when you take on a new project, land a new customer, or learn something new. Nothing fights tribal knowledge like documentation.

Vacation, illness, and family emergencies are a part of life, so they’re also a part of work. If you aren’t accounting for what happens when any member of your team suddenly isn’t there, prepare to feel it.


JP2015

Benjamin Franklin said it best: if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. This week, the Woman Behind the Curtain is sharing why it’s especially important to consider when a member of your team might not be around – for a day or for a while. How do you prepare for the buses in your business? Comment below or connect with Jennifer directly.

When the Best Laid Plans are Stuck in A Box

Moving Day: an exciting day to look forward to (or dread) for months.  Moving Day: an organizational celebration (or catastrophe). We’ve all been there – whether we’ve moved ourselves, our kids, or offices, and whether you’re learning about clothes you haven’t worn in a few years or strategies in spatial reasoning, it’s never dull. I collected boxes at work weeks in advance. My husband and I packed and cleaned, then we packed and cleaned some more.  We strategized what would go where in our new home. We changed our address with anyone that mattered. We booked a moving truck. We were as prepared as we could be leading up to the big day and felt great.

Moving day came and the excitement was bursting out of me from the moment I woke up; I was ready.  As I drove the moving truck to our new house, two large dogs panting in the seat beside me—family following behind ready to help—I was going through the plans I had already set in place.  I knew what room the boxes would be put in, and I knew what room I was going to start on.   As soon as everything was in the house, which I anticipated would be done by 3 at the very latest, I would work on room by room, box by box.  By the time we settled into our freshly laundered beds in our mostly unpacked rooms, the house would be livable.

My vision for the day ahead set, I pulled the moving truck filled with my house up to our new home… filled with someone else’s belongings… and someone else.

How could this happen?

I was as prepared as I could have been!

They, however, were not.

Truly, all I wanted to do was sit down in the middle of the driveway that was supposed to be mine and cry.  My plans – ruined.  My day – shot.  And my stuff?  It sat in the moving truck for hours while we waited for the not-quite-previous-inhabitants to file their things out.

I didn’t have a meltdown or explode or sit in the middle of not-my-driveway crying.  Instead, I put a smile on my face, helped the former owners when I could, and enjoyed a beautiful day outside with my family while we waited.  Dusk came and all of my family’s belongings were finally in the house – not where I wanted them, not even in a convenient place (the basement) but they were there.  And I was finally home.

This is a lesson worth remembering outside of boxes and in life at work. No matter how prepared I am to take a phone call, enter a meeting, or work on a project – no matter how positive I sound or how helpful I am – I cannot control the customer on the other end of the call, the people who will show up to the meeting, or the motives of those I encounter.  But here’s what I, and you, can do:

  1. Don’t over-plan. As counter-intuitive as that is with some projects, moving included, you should plan what you can control, and be flexible. Anticipate problems, consider options, and roll with the punches.
  2. Maintain focus on the end goal. You know what the end result will be regardless of the rocky road. I knew I’d move into my house and we’d live there and it would be awesome. And it is, even though my moving day didn’t go at all according to plan.
  3. Keep your cool. Even though being mad, upset, or even mean would have been the easier thing to do, keeping a positive attitude allowed me, my family, and my dogs to enjoy the day. Forcing a smile when you want to express any other emotion is a day maker. This story, after all, could have been a lot different.

It’s been 3 weeks since I was finally able to move into my house, and while I won’t be moving again any time soon, it’s reflecting on these sometimes not-as-pleasant-as-they-could-have-been life experiences that continue to help me grow as a person – and a planner.


IMG_MFerkovich

If you’ve ever moved like the Duchess of Drivetrain, you know that things don’t always go according to plan. When you can’t control what happens around you, how do you manage? Leave Maggie a comment – or email her directly

Hiring for Tomorrow, Part 2: How to Hire

RU #122

Like our Jill of All Trades mentioned in Part 1 of this series, Hiring for Tomorrow: The Set Up, finding qualified candidates is a lot more involved than posting an ad – especially so if you want someone that will stand the test of time.

But before you cast your net, how do you decide when it’s time to start hiring?

There are the obvious times:

  • When an employee puts in their notice.
  • When your business expands to another location.
  • When you start offering a new product or service.

And then, there are the less obvious, but just-as-important times:

  • When you’re spending more time returning voicemails than following up with your best customers.
  • When you sell to a new customer for the first time and don’t even realize it.
  • When your trained sales reps become order processors.

Once you recognize that it’s time to hire, do yourself these 3 favors:

  1. Cast More Than One Net. For us, LinkedIn works well for our customer-facing teams but rarely is it the only place an opening is listed. Think about industry trade groups, organizations in your city, or local colleges and universities.
  2. Fish Where There Are Fish. When posting your position, pick a platform or avenue that already caters to the kinds of employees you want. Especially if you’re shelling out a fee for a paid listing, be sure you have a good understanding of how many people you have the potential of reaching. (Read as: don’t waste your time on shiny new job sites with small pools of job seekers.)
  3. Drop a Line in Your Own Network. Referrals from your current employees are great, but they eventually will run out of friends. Remember that sharp person at last month’s trade show; the one with whom you had a great conversation? They may have been fishing for a business lead, but you may have landed your next hire.

Filling a open position isn’t easy, but it is a necessary part of keeping your success – and the sanity of your team – moving forward. Want to know more about hiring in today’s market? Check out the next part of this series in the coming weeks.

photo credit: © [Garrincha] / Dollar Photo Club


AVA_JenniferP

Before you cast your hiring net, how do you decide when it’s time? In part 2 of the Hiring for Tomorrow series, we’re talking about the how and the how to. Have your own tips? Comment below or share with Jennifer directly!

Hiring for Tomorrow: The Set Up

RU_210The people you’re working with today aren’t necessarily the people you’ll be working with tomorrow. They may be lured away by other opportunities. Or have to relocate because of their spouse’s job. Or maybe they just need a change. Turnover is an inevitable part of running a business. And, like it or not, its effects can be felt across a company.

Finding a warm body to fill an open position isn’t exactly hard – but it’s not exactly right, either. When you’re a man down because of turnover or growth, it’s easy to want to find someone – anyone – to lessen the stress. But, for the health and longevity of your team, you have to approach hiring as a strategic decision.

You need a plan for finding, hiring, and on boarding candidates for multiple positions. Believe it or not, finding qualified candidates is a lot more involved than posting a “Help Wanted” ad.

  • Find Your Rock Stars – Have you been running the same job posting for three straight years? It’s no wonder that instead of attracting the rock stars you so desperately want, you’re getting a bunch of roadies. Make job descriptions match the kind of candidate you’re trying to attract. A little creativity (and a lot of editing) can help you find the personable, fun, and engaged person you need.
  • Show Off Your Assets – You can tell candidates how awesome you are until you’re blue in the face. It’s far more effective to show them. Whether it’s just a webpage or an entire website dedicated to recruitment, it should read like an ode to your unique company culture. Write some employee profiles, shoot a fun recruitment video, or just incorporate an online job application; now’s the time to build your case for joining your team.
  • Get On Board – The final piece of the hiring puzzle is developing a comprehensive training program. After assessing your hiring needs, you may realize that you need to need a lot of help – and fast. Find someone to lead the training charge by compiling resources, adapting processes, and keeping the whole team focused on the task at hand.

Being short staffed – for one reason or another – can put your team in a tough spot. How do you decide when it’s time to start hiring?

Tune in over the coming weeks for more tips and best practices on how and where to hire your next superstar.

photo credit: © [BartPhoto] / Dollar Photo Club


In part 1 of this new Reman U article series, the Jill of All Trades explains how strategy and hiring fit together. Like what Aimee has to say? Comment below or email her directly!

Is Growing Supposed to Hurt This Much?

©iStock.com/EuToch

©iStock.com/EuToch

At what point does the “best kind of problem” turn into a serious issue? This week, we’re talking about growing pains.

For all intents and purposes, let’s start with our own definition:

Growing pain (noun)

: the negative impact on both company and customer through times of increase; a deficiency derived from an increase or change that didn’t exist previously.

In layman’s terms, “Wow. I can’t provide my product or service fast enough because of how much business is coming my way. What a great problem to have!”

Greats

Growing is great when it means…

  1. Your phone ringing with more and more orders.
  2. Increased number of cars in your bays.
  3. Taking market share away from your largest competitor.

Growth becomes a serious issue when…

  1. You can’t provide your product or service as fast as your customers expect it.
  2. Your technician is too swamped to keep up.
  3. Your largest competitor takes market share away from you.

Growing pains are a natural part of change and they, well, hurt. But they are one of the best opportunities to improve your business – if you’re keeping your eyes open for them.

So how do you keep a growing pain from becoming a full-blown thorn in your side?

Recognizing issues. Sometimes, they are obvious. Other times, not so much. Welcome the problem, make it known, and create a timeline for easing the hurt.

Managing expectations. From your customer to your internal team, don’t set anyone up for failure. Tell your tech that you appreciate his extra hard work and that you’re bringing in another set of hands by the end of the month. Give your customer a reasonable delivery timeframe. Be transparent with when the pain is going to end.

Get to work. Change and growth require significant decisions and putting a plan in action. Talking about what needs to be done surely isn’t enough, and lack of movement only prolongs the pain and the number of people affected.

Growth hurts. Change hurts. How much, though, is up to you.


AVA_KendrickAnthony2-150x150What do the Dapper Dan of Reman and Stan the Trans Man have in common? For one, they both wrote this week’s article. And, they also share an understanding of growing pains. Has a growing pain ever been too much for your business? Share with them below, or email Kendrick and Anthony directly.

Is Your Plan Mudder-Tough?

©iStock.com/leekris

©iStock.com/leekris

We’ve recently formed an ETE Tough Mudder team. What’s a Tough Mudder? A gruesome, 10-12 mile military-style obstacle course of pure pain that 8 of us have decided to tackle together. A team of all ages, background, sizes, personalities, and skill levels on a mission to finish this race as one crew.

You might think we’re crazy, and shoot…maybe I do, too. But these past 6 weeks have given me the opportunity to learn a lot about this ETE team. I’ve seen sweat, tears, sickness, and injuries. But we keep coming back to run up a rugged hill twice a week together in anticipation of what lies ahead on September 8th.

Do you have a big event coming up, or thinking of planning one? Hosting an open house, sponsoring a car show, planning an area sales blitz? A prepared team can be the strongest gun in your business’s arsenal.

1. Have a game plan. Do you think strapping on my running shoes the day of this big challenge for the first time in months is a great idea? Most definitely not. If you want to accomplish the goals you set out for your business this year-what’s your plan to get there? Create and write out your goals, and share your strategy to achieve them with your team.

2. Utilize the strengths of each team member. For those of you that are wondering- my arm strength isn’t incredible, so I’m depending on my teammate Nick to pull me over the walls of the Tough Mudder race. Follow suit and let your stronger team members mentor those struggling to find success. Try experimenting with constructive role playing for your key counter persons and customer service reps.

3. Practice. Practice. Practice. Oh yeah, and did I say practice? Training sessions with your team will go a long way to build skills and confidence. Plan a monthly “lunch and learn” where you can openly share and discuss technical, sales, or customer service best practices.

Interested in how our team uses these strategies to complete our race? Stay tuned.


This week, Kentucky Fried Sales Chick Megan Pierce shares 3 ideas for getting tough. How tough, you ask? Mudder-tough. Have an idea to add to the list? Share with Megan or in the comments below!

Graduation Tips Aren’t Just for the Class of 2013

Reman U #114

The sun is shining. The flowers are blooming. And graduation season is in full swing.

Statistically, 16 percent of 2013 graduates have jobs waiting for them. And, with a better employment outlook than there has been in the last 4 years, preparing to enter the workforce seems to be on everyone’s minds.

Whether it’s your first “real” job, a promotion within your company, or leaving to take on a new challenge somewhere else, the right mindset to be successful as you graduate to the next level is one in the same.

So, take note and check out some graduation tips that aren’t just for the Class of 2013:

1. Be prepared for anything. You don’t bring a knife to a gunfight and you don’t bring a gun to your first day of work. Take whatever time you have prior to actually starting to read up on your new position, your new employer, and your new industry. Go through a mental checklist of what a day at your new job may entail. I like to test drive my route to work during the times I’d be commuting to get a feel for how traffic flows. This may seem like overkill, but it’ll save you the embarrassment of explaining to your new boss why you’re late. Oh, and it may be a good idea to figure out what you’re going to wear for the first week. From there, you can wash and dry clean as needed. If elementary school has taught us anything, it’s that once you’ve established a reputation as being the smelly person in the office, it tends to linger. Like your stench. Seriously, hit the showers.

2. Put on a happy face. No hissing, cursing or spitting at new colleagues. Take a cue from a motivational poster: It takes more muscles to frown than to smile. While an ear-to-ear grin may make you come off looking more simple than charismatic, a generally pleasant demeanor will help you seem more approachable. Even if you aren’t terribly excited about your new position, don’t let The Man know. Show enthusiasm for your new job and surroundings. Be attentive. And try to play nice with the other kids. You can gradually add the hissing, cursing and spitting later.

3. Get to know your new colleagues. You’re thrown into a sink-or-swim environment. You need to find out who will help you clip along and who will drag you down. Whether you like it or not, this involves getting to know your coworkers. It’s important to know who does what and associate a face with a task. Also, “Hey! You with the hair…” quickly wears out its welcome. So take the initiative to learn people’s names. Another benefit with this “getting to know people” thing is that you may just make a new friend. And that’ll make break time around the water cooler that much more interesting. Or going out for after-hours libations. Or between-hours libations. Err, uh, strike that last one.

4. Pay attention to what you’re doing. It’s safe to say that learning your job is pretty important. After all, that’s kind of the reason you’re there. So find out what your new boss expects of you, and how to meet those expectations. Don’t just learn how to do your job; learn how to do it well.

5. Remember yourself. If you want to bring your A-game, you need to take care of yourself. Don’t let stress and nerves sabotage your health. Eat right. Exercise. Sleep. And take time for yourself. At the end of the day, it’s just a job. And no job is worth sacrificing your health or integrity.


Jill of All Trades Aimee Brock was a graduate herself not too long ago, so what it takes to be an early success is still fresh in her mind. This week, she shares a few workforce tips that are helpful no matter what “graduation” stage you’re at. Have a tip to add? Share in the comments below or with Aimee directly!

A Crash Course in Project Management

Having a unique skill set can be a blessing and a curse. In my case, I’m the go-to girl for graphic design projects. While there’s some degree of security in being the only person with that ability, being the only person that can do a particular task can get real overwhelming real fast.

In the past, I’ve taken any and all projects. Redo scheduled maintenance sheets? Sure! Make a sign for a door? Coming right up! Write a blog post? I’d love to! They’re all billed as quick and easy tasks, but the reality is that they were rarely quick and seldom easy. Between designing the piece, getting approval, making edits, and working with outside vendors to produce the damn thing, these 5-minute projects became big, complicated time-sucks. And, worse, they were getting in the way of completing more important projects.

After getting burned on some projects that ultimately suffered agonizingly long deaths and coming dangerously close to being burned out, I had to take a step back and reevaluate how I handle my workload. The result was this: A crash course in project management.

Before starting anything, clearly define your project

Even Houdini couldn’t pull an effective project out of his butt. Your coworkers or staff shouldn’t expect you to do the same. Yes, it may take time on their parts, but the result is a smoother process and that produces better outcomes. Make sure this thing you’re creating is built on a solid foundation by clearly:

  • Defining objectives
  • Establish project scope
  • Determining deliverables
  • Forming a timeline with due dates
  • Creating benchmarks
  • Setting a budget
  • Assembling a team 

Be flexible and always have a Plan B

Now, don’t tell my coworkers this, but I usually build as much as a week into any project timeline. People may get sick. Machinery may break. Deadlines may get overshot. Stuff inevitably happens. Don’t let that stuff derail your progress or, worse, derail your project altogether. Take into account human factors. Do you know your boss isn’t good at giving you feedback in a timely fashion? Make sure you give them ample time to do so before your project is due. Will you have to source a new vendor? Take the time to find and vet a vendor that will best help you achieve your goals. What if a team member gets sick (or sick of the project)? Know whom the next best person is to take on that team member’s responsibilities.

Use your resources

I often liken getting everyone on the same page to herding cats. Mr. Pickles is playing with a ball of yarn on the opposite side of the building, and not privy to day-to-day project updates. Günter is in the middle of a big laser pointer-chasing project and won’t be able to devote his full attention to your project for a while. And Moosey is flat pretending like he can’t hear you calling a meeting.

There are many ways in which you can disseminate information and improve your workflow. For instance, I’ve built an internal site wherein members of our sales team can access resources and information. While it’s a passive means of communication, it has the wiki-like ability to collect, organize, and disseminate a large amount of information. In addition, I’ve created a work order form to better manage the one-off tasks with which I’d previously been inundated.  Go ahead and check it out for yourself.

Finally, know when to say “No”

As Jennifer explained in last week’s article, there are few words in the English language that are as powerful as “No.” It’s explicit. It sets boundaries. And, sometimes, it’s absolutely necessary.

As with its equally powerful counterpart “Yes,” with great power comes great responsibility. Use it sparingly, but have a good reason to do so and mean it when you say it.

If you do not have the time to give a project the attention it demands, say no.

If contributing to a project is not the best use of your time, say no.

If you do not have the proper skills necessary to complete a task, say no.

If there is someone who is better suited to complete a task, say no.

If a project has unreasonable deadlines or expectations, say no.

BOOM! Project Managed.

These tips may seem elementary. Some just have an innate sense of order, so project management comes as naturally as breathing. For others like myself, who prefer to operate within what my mother affectionately calls “a sh*t tornado,” project management is a learned skill. It takes a bit of practice and a bit of patience, but these easy tips will help keep your projects running smoothly, your workload more manageable, and your sanity (somewhat) intact.


Jill of All Trades Aimee Brock might be super girl when it comes to juggling projects, but she knows the importance of project management for keeping it all together. How do you handle your workload? Leave a comment below!