In the midst of ever-changing, sometimes increasingly stressful times it is easy to lose focus on your place and your purpose. We become so consumed by wanting to appear as though we have it all under control that we do not see when we are spiraling out of control. One of the greatest gifts the pandemic has given me is learning that focusing on tomorrow’s success and the needs of today are not mutually exclusive activities. In fact visualizing tomorrow’s success can calm the chaotic nature of “what do I need to be doing right now?!”
“May the optimism of tomorrow be your foundation for today” – Olubowale Folarin
Working as a project manager in itself is a daunting task: verifying work assignments are completed properly, managing day to day operational needs, completing your own work, providing updates on deliverables and pain points within the process. Add leading your team of leaders remotely to the mix and the obstacles to success seem insurmountable! Suddenly the list of things you need to be doing seems nearly endless and the catch to all of this is that the priority one item on that list changes by the second. “You can’t keep up,” “you’ll never finish it all in time,” and “the items you do finish will inevitably not be up to your standards or anyone else’s standards”, right? Wrong, this is where the road splits! When confronted with these overwhelming feelings, you can choose to panic like everyone else on a road far too worn by travelers who have decided all of these tasks are their own destination—they feel that they must pick a place make it there and hope that is far enough from the starting point to be considered a job well done. However there is another option, the better option, and that is to see the tasks as mile markers on a road to the true destination: accomplishment.
Now you are able to look back and admire the mile markers that brought you here: that email that needed to go to the client, the case report you needed to write, the performance review you needed to conduct, the operational issues you had to overcome. Not only did you knock out your insurmountable list, you also discovered that there was nothing to fear at all. You have filled yourself up with so much excitement about what you have gotten done, you have enough fuel to make the next accomplishment station which is twice as far. The road may be a bit longer, but the drive is smoother because you know how to maneuver through the chaos that may try to get in your way and you know the destination you are looking for and don’t forget to hit the rest stops along the way!