Thomas Edison was a jerk, but his quote about inspiration and perspiration was pretty accurate. Nothing hard gets done easily, and all of that perspiration can translate into stress. In an article for TechRepublic, Moira Alexander shares some tips that project managers and their teams can use to get through a project without pulling their hair out.
Work Hard, Relax Hard
Most of Alexander’s tips are stuff you already know, but it is the sort of stuff that you might forget about without an actual reminder. For instance, she says to remember to take short, frequent breaks throughout the day, because these short breaks are great for reenergizing your motivation. But some of her tips also get into abstract territory, like having corporate set up a game/art room where people can retreat during lunch to recharge and share their hobbies. An even wilder suggestion she gives is to bring “pet therapy” into the company, which basically just means allowing pets in the office. (For the record, I think this is the worst idea in the world, but hey—whatever works for you.)
Something that will help project managers especially to reduce stress is to learn to say no to more work. Stakeholders do not know how much is on a team’s plate already, but the project manager does. And if more work is going to jeopardize the project or the well-being of the people working on it, then the project manager should speak up and articulate the problem.
One more thing you can do to reduce stress on your projects is to plan projects well in the first place:
The first step in managing stress is sufficient planning. Many stressful issues or unpleasant surprises can be avoided by ensuring the right amount of planning goes into each project. It seems like an obvious tip, but even the smallest missed task or component can cause extra work, have a negative impact on an entire project and become a huge source of stress later. To plan better, try to anticipate all possible risks, identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and solicit advice from subject matter experts to ensure all angles have been explored. Give yourself a cooling off period to consolidate what you have learned, this allows time for you and your team to measure twice and cut once.
For additional tips, you can view the original article here: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/9-stress-reduction-tips-for-project-managers-and-teams/