Project Management and Daily Life – 2 of 2
By: Collin Quiring
This is part two of a two part blog on using Project Management in our daily lives. My sister challenged me the other day by saying that all the stuff I do every day doesn’t apply to her (or my) life. While some might agree with her, I think that there are those that agree with my premise that Project Management is one of the disciplines that can easily carry over to daily life. AND, I think that in many cases, this is an activity that is done naturally by many people (and not done at all by some others) – and they may never consider what they do or how they do it as being part of some formal field of study or specialty called Project Management.
So, here are some of the particulars of my sister’s circumstances:
She is married
They have three kids
The kids are homeschooled
She runs marathons (the full, 26.2 miles)
She has a part time job
I am sure there are other details of interest, but that is enough for my point.
All of these areas require large amounts of managerial skill including scheduling, determination, communication and financial administration. I will pick one area to concentrate on – the marathons. The more popular/famous the marathon, the more restrictive the requirements are to register. There are usually only certain windows within which to register, and those can be months to a year in advance of the actual marathon.
Then there is the training. As a dedicated couch potato, I never realized that to run a marathon you have to be more than merely in shape, you have to actually train so that you build up the ability (or maintain it) to run a full marathon.
Then there is the travel. Marathon’s tend to start early in the day and you need to be mentally and physically ready to run. Therefore, you want to be relatively close to the starting point without having to add lots of travel time that day (time zones might be in play, potentially requiring earlier travel time to physically adjust). Travel requires a whole series of steps and management. But, in this case, there are five people travelling to the marathon (or some number between two and five and a babysitter in charge of the kids that don’t go). And, what if the marathon is during school? Well, then, part of the travel includes taking the appropriate amount of schoolwork, or doubling up the work load prior to or after going on the trip.
And on and on goes the list of items to do. This is a long list of tasks, and, when you include all the other things in daily life, like determining what to have for supper (cooking at home or going out), working part time jobs, volunteering time, paying the bills, and the myriad of other items that aren’t listed – you have an extensive Portfolio to Project Manage!
The amazing thing to me is that most of these tasks aren’t ever written down! And, these are almost all long term projects – homeschooling could last until 12th Grade, marathons could be a lifetime addiction and the other daily items (like eating) will always be around.
To me, using the knowledge of Project Management can only be helpful in keeping everything in order!