Welcome to this eight-issue of TSR, your weekly Project Management newsletter. If this past week has proven anything to me, it's that we need to be sure we're taking care of each other– at work and home.
If you were sent this fantastic newsletter by some cool-cat, you can subscribe for yourself here.
Are your teams on fire 🔥 because of burnout?
While I'm sure most of you don't follow project management news as closely as I do (that's why you have me!), but if you did, you might have noticed a severe pattern this week's headlines:
"The red-flag signs you may be burning out while working from home,"
"Why Burnout Should be a Topic at Your Next Board Meeting, and What to Do About It," and
"Preventing Burnout Is About Empathetic Leadership"
are just three of the eight I noticed this week. Either there's a conspiracy afoot against managers of the world, or burnout is an issue. I'm going with it being an actual issue.
I fully admit that this past May, with nothing more than work and family to think about, I fell into the trap of a 70/30 split, respectively. You read that right- I estimate that about 70% of my time was spent working or thinking about work and ongoing projects. This led me down a dark path of depression and, indeed, burnout.
Fast Company's Aytekin Tank hit the nail on the head with why people enter the burnout zone: "Numbing yourself by staring at your computer screen or scheduling nonstop meetings means you'll miss opportunities to deal with problems (or issues before they become problems)." Are you taking time for yourself? Is working your stress escape mechanism? Then you might be suffering from burnout.
Are you seeing the signs that your teams are not as effective as they once were? Of course, you also need to consider the "remoteness" of their situation, that is, do they talk with people during the day? Or are they all work and no play? Perhaps the better question would be, how do you see to your team's mental health? When thinking about dealing with your employees or teams' issues, are you being an empathetic leader? It could honestly mean the difference in output from your team.
To end this, I'd like to offer this recently published newsletter from Alkali Amana on learning to manage stress.
Ranger's Lead the Way! (to becoming good PMs)
This week I published my weekly essay, What being an Army Ranger taught me about being a Project Manager: What being with the 1/75th Ranger Battalion taught me about Project Management Leadership. As a subscriber, I didn't send it out to you as I value your time and didn't want to overstay my welcome to your inbox. That said, I was amazed by the feedback I've gotten via social media, especially Reddit (follow me on Twitter for my quips and updates).
Time management, motivation, idleness, persuasion, and clarity are just a few things I learned to use and drive my teams to success. It's not always a matter of their ability as a member or your ability as a leader- sometimes it's a matter of how you interact with that person on a personal level. Even in the Infantry, this matters.
While it may be difficult for you to motivate yourself from the leadership side, others count on you to remain motivated for their sake.
Sometimes it takes effort to manage right. Are you putting forth the necessary effort for your teams to make it to the end?
🥊 Google’s in the Project Management app biz now
"And in this corner is the heavy-weight champion of..." This is how I see Google sometimes as they enter into emerging markets. In this case, it's the introduction of their beta project management suite, Tables.
I was playing around with it this past weekend, and it's pretty in-depth for a beta. My only reservation with this is Google's reputation for giving up on products if they're not making them money. However, that aside, it's excellent!
Google's The Keyword blog has a good write-up on Tables, an Area 120 project (think Area 51 but inside Google (and without the aliens 👾)), "Tables helps teams track work and automate tasks to save time and supercharge collaboration—without any coding required."
I'll try to give it a full run this next weekend and give my review on it.
Disco 🕺, ‘er, no… DiscoTask Web-App Review
There’s not much more than what you see in the screenshot below. The set-up was easy enough, although it did take me a few minutes to find my way around. Adding and crossing off tasks was also simple.
A difference that DiscoTask has over all of the other apps I’ve reviewed thus far is the filtering option for tasks. You’ll see the orange, light gray, blue, and green boxes below- you can turn those on/off, one at a time, or all on/all off. It makes it nice to see what’d done vs. what you need.
As with previous apps, you can also add team members and collaborate in real-time.
Again, visually, this is nice. It’s clean and doesn’t seem to have any bloat. The developer, Adriaan, let me know that the site is still active, and he may be doing some additional work on the site in the future. I recommend this as an easy “on the go” task manager.