Life Hacks

We Asked the Project Management Community: How Do You Apply Project Management Skills in Everyday Life?

“Our family vacation was a road trip of approximately 1,200 miles (1,931 kilometers) through a tiger reserve to a well-known hill station in southern India. I started building the project plan by adding project milestones, such as intermediate stops, overnight accommodations and distance traveled per day, and choosing which forest safari and famous tourist spots we would schedule. That helped us to arrive at an estimated budget, which I found to be within our limit. In the end, all the project planning resulted in a hassle-free, enjoyable vacation. My daughter actively helped me document the project milestones—creating documents that can offer lessons learned for future trips.”

—Salman Mohammad, PMP, associate director, Optum Global Solutions, Telangana, India


“I think the everyday review of buffers and scheduling backwards affects every stitch of my work and personal life. For instance, when I have a goal to bike ride for a certain number of miles a week, I'm constantly looking at my schedule to determine when and how I can maximize the ride without forcing a reschedule of other events. In this case, project management helps me manage my schedule—and my health.”

—Pamela Young, PMI-RMP, PMP, customer success director, Oracle, New York, New York, USA


“I plan ahead every Saturday for personal and family activities during the upcoming week because it helps me anticipate potential work conflicts—and how to react to them. Having a defined agenda for the week sets the baselines for scope, time and cost to follow through. At the end of the week, you can look back and see whether you managed to execute your plan.

For example, I like to keep up with my kids’ activities and guide them with their homework if needed. I want to be there for them as any project manager would be for their team. The best part of it is the feeling you have when the school's principal tells you that both of your kids are considered school role models. That's when you know that you have planned ahead right.”

—Edgar Bonilla Torres, PMP, energy and hydrocarbons project adviser Latin America region, LG International Corp., Bogotá, Colombia




How do you apply project management skills in everyday life? Share your best advice on the PMI Project, Program and Portfolio Management LinkedIn Group.


“When I organized a poetry exhibition for an art gallery in my free time, it required a real project plan and the use of project management skills. We had to factor in stakeholders, like the poets, the visitors and the volunteers for supporting the event. Time management helped us factor in dates for inviting poets to submit poems, developing the artwork and securing the venue, as well as scheduling actual event logistics. We managed cost to ensure that we didn't exceed available funds for the nonprofit event. We also needed to have risk management in place. The exhibition was during monsoon season, so we had to anticipate bad weather on the day of the event and have a facility with ample covered parking. Project integration management was applied continuously to ensure that the entire event ran smoothly and successfully.”

—Rahul Sudame, PMI-ACP, PMP, program manager, Persistent Systems, Pune, India


“Our family has developed a template called ‘Vacation Readiness.’ It's a detailed checklist of things to do or to confirm a day prior to leaving, such as: unplug noncritical electrical devices, shut off gas, set the timer for lights and place a hold on the mail. We've been practicing this for the past several years. It works like a charm and gives us peace of mind and safety.”

—Faisal Y Patel, PMP, vice president, technology projects, Bank of America, West Hills, California, USA

Balancing Act

Getting the most out of free time requires a strong work-life balance. Here's what workers around the world say helps create harmony.

82% Growing skills and knowledge to keep up with industry changes


63% Flexible work arrangements


57% Highly collaborative work environments


49% Paid time off


43% Wellness programs


39% Innovative and creative cultures


37% Limitations or restrictions for working beyond designated business hours


Source: Kelly Global Workforce Index, Kelly Services, 2016



Related Content

  • Sixth sense intuition member content open

    By Roeder, Tres Those who are new to the discipline of project management often rely too heavily on adopting and adapting defined processes and frameworks. As project managers mature and learn how to confront…