How to Avoid Burnout as a Project Manager

Adriana Girdler

Best ways to minimize stress and ensure it doesn’t impact your project’s success! Burnout is a real risk for project managers. And as a project …

Best ways to minimize stress and ensure it doesn’t impact your project’s success!

Burnout is a real risk for project managers. And as a project manager, it’s something you’ll need to learn how to identify and control so that you don’t get burnt out.

The good news is that there are some simple tips that will help you avoid burnout as a project manager so that your stress doesn’t get out of control.

Limit Your Overtime

At times, being a project manager means you’re fighting a lot of fires.

If you’re always fighting fires, then you’re likely always working overtime to keep things organized. So, it becomes critical to understand how exactly you’re managing things. Are you constantly overworked? If you are, then you may need to implement some changes that will serve you better long-term.

You’ll never be able to stop firefighting entirely; it’s part of project management. But one of the ways to minimize it is to do really thorough planning.

Plans prevent overload for you (and your team)! So, make sure you do what you need to do in the beginning stages of your projects to get organized and set up realistic expectations for your team.

Another way to prevent yourself from constantly working overtime is to remember that just because you’re the project manager doesn’t mean you need to take on ALL the responsibility!

It’s Okay to Say No

In the corporate world, we often feel the pressure to be a team player by saying “yes” to everything. But this isn’t always necessarily better for the team… Especially when it leads to burnout!

Even adding lots of little changes to your project along the way can add up and lead to lots of unnecessary burnout. If you’re saying “yes” to too many changes, you’ll be scrambling to get things done.

So, learn how to say no. It is completely okay to say no, especially when you’re doing so professionally, respectfully, and in the best interests of overall strategy.

Remember: As a project manager, you need to pay attention to scope, time, and budget. So, if you’re going to say no, do it in the context of your scope, time, and budget. If you properly planned, you will have a really clear idea of your timelines, what exactly your scope is, and your project priorities.

Saying “no” is okay, and it will actually ensure that your project stays on track!

More Tips on Avoiding Burnout

These aren’t the only proven tips I have to avoid burnout as a project manager. If you’re feeling a bit stressed on your project or are starting a project and want to ensure your stress won’t get in the way, make sure you head over to YouTube with me so we can keep talking about this!

Meanwhile, if you really are committed to mastering your next project, do consider taking my SLAY Project Management online course where I show you step-by-step how to successfully manage a project, plus you get access to every template you will need, along with detailed video instructions on how to fill them out.


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Adriana Girdler is a project manager, productivity specialist, entrepreneur, professional speaker, facilitator, visioning wizard, and author. As President of CornerStone Dynamics, Adriana is one of Canada’s prominent business productivity and project management specialists—helping both individuals and businesses do what they do, only better. She is a certified master black belt lean six sigma with over 20 years’ experience improving how companies work.

She also holds both PMP (project management professional) and CET (certified engineering technologist) designations. She’s a Tedx speaker, as well as a HuffPost and Thrive Global contributor. She has been interviewed on Global, CBC, CTV, CHCH, 680News Radio, Newstalk 1010, Sirius XM and published in the Globe and Mail and numerous industry magazines. WANT ADRIANA'S FREE ONLINE TRAINING? In 45 min, learn Adriana's 5 project management secrets she use on EVERY project. Sign up for the Free Webinar here: THE FAB FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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