Welcome to part 2 of Project (Life) Management where I will be covering life time management. Oh yeah if you have not read the first part, it can be found here. If you have the time, go and read it before you dive into this next section.
Project (Life) Time, Cost, and Quality Management
Now to most people, these three words are very easy to explain.
Time – How long something takes
Cost – How much something costs
Quality – How good/bad something is
So how does this pertain to Project Life Management? Today is your lucky day as I am on hand to give you the guidance that will help you in your quest to successfully survive this project called Life.
There are three project (life) management aspects that are linked because you cannot change one without affecting the others. These are project (life) time management, project (life) cost management and project (life) quality management. For example, say you want to go to a music festival, you decide which festival you want to go to based on when it is (time), how much it costs to go, including all hidden costs (cost) and who is going to be playing at said festival (quality). The same can be said for any other hairbrained ideas we come up with. Those three factors will always have a hand in life management.
Project (Life) Time Management
I am going to start off by calling out a lot of my black Zimbabwean brothers and sisters here. What is up with being fashionably late guys? There is no need, rhyme nor reason to be late. If you are late the least that you could do is inform the people who are waiting for you. Of course, the interesting thing is if the meeting involves money being given to you, a date with that girl with the eyebrows drawn on with the semi-permanent marker, or a job interview, then you manage to get there on time. Otherwise, it just doesn’t happen. There is nothing wrong with being on time to meet someone. In fact, it is one of the more decent things you can do.
To help you manage your time I have drawn on expert knowledge written by other people, and then reduced to help give some relevance to life management. According to PMBOK 5th Edition (Project Management Book of Knowledge) there are seven activities that are related to time management. For project life time management I will only talk about six of them.
- Define activities – Before you even start trying to manage your time you need to know what you are going to be doing. We already do some stuff on autopilot: You wake up, brush your teeth, shower, and change, eat, and go to work, work, and then eventually leave work. If you have been doing this for about a year then you do not need to define your activities. You defined them a long time ago. I would like to hope that by now you do not need to figure out what you need to do when you wake up in the morning. If you struggle to get to work on time, you need to re-evaluation many things in your life.
- Sequence activities – You must have an idea how you are going to do what you decide you have to do. There is no point in waking up, changing, eating and then showering and changing again. You need to have an order of how you are going to do things that makes sense.
- Estimate activity resources – So the plan is to have dinner at home, then go to the bar, drink, drink, drink, and then go home at midnight. Do you have food at home? Do you have money to drink? Do you have fuel in your car? If you decide to do this without estimating if you have enough resources to do these things you will not be on time, it will end up costing you more than planned and the quality of the hovel that you chose to drink in will match your resource estimation.
- Estimate activity durations – Now again I appeal to my black Zimbabwean brothers and sisters. If you do not guestimate how long it’s going to take you to shower, shit, shave, change, eat and drive to the bar to have drinks with your mates, you will always be late. This is the sole reason that you end up complaining that the meat finished at the braai. It was because you came late.
- Develop and control schedule – By the age of 23, you should know how long it takes to shower and what kind of shower are you taking. Once you manage to get the above sorted, then you should be able to manage your project (life) time management. The other option is to get a diary… or make better use of your Smartphone.
Project (life) time management is important. Time is money, especially when it is other people’s time. So get it together! This claim that there are not enough hours in a day is nonsense. Since time began, there has always been 24hours in a day. If you say that there are not enough hours in a day then you are not utilising the hours you have. Learn to manage your project life time better. We are only here for a finite amount of time.