5 Project Management Tips from Portent’s Newest Mom
Ariana Burgess Sep 11 2013
Being a new mom is pretty awesome. Sure, there’s lack of sleep, lots of crying (you and the baby), and lots of diapers. But there are also awesome smiles, giggles, cuddles, and hugs. It’s challenging enough to accommodate this new person, but working full-time adds an extra layer.
Over the years, however, I’ve developed some project management skills that have come in very handy with the little one. Below are five of the biggest.
1. Write it down, somewhere
Parental brain exists. Whether it is due to lack of sleep or too many to-dos, you can’t remember everything. So write it down.
I use Evernote for my client agendas, recaps, and things I need to remember. I also create shopping lists, make journals for what I want my daughter to learn someday, plan parties that may or may not happen, and generally ramble.
2. Plan in extra time
Ever since a long-term client told me how much she appreciated me being early to meetings, I’ve made it one of the things I just do. If I am late, or even on time, I feel terrible. And so far, there have been only a handful of times with my newborn that I’ve been late. I actually remember more times where I’ve been early, with husband and daughter in tow, and have arrived before my friends/family with no kids! How do I do this?
Well, at work, I give myself 15 minutes before a scheduled call to prep docs, load the screen share, and dial in. I find if I have less than 15 minutes, I feel rushed and often have technical issues. At home, I plan an hour before things to start the process of getting going. Sometimes, we wait around twiddling our thumbs (or the baby chews on mine).
3. It takes a village
Raising a child for the first time is like walking in a forest with no lights. Unless you have a guide, you will trip over a lot of roots. Baby group classes have stopped me from thinking that “no one has ever experienced this” (that and random 2 a.m. searches for “my baby does ________”).
Running successful Internet marketing projects also takes a lot of super-smart people. Fortunately, we have that at Portent, and getting different departments to weigh in on things (even when they aren’t part of the project) can help bring better ideas.
4. Build relationships
I’m surprised by how many of my clients are interested in baby updates on our regular calls. Almost every one includes a “how’s the baby?” But when you build great relationships with clients, they do care – and the work we do together improves. Here at Portent, I feel like we do a pretty good job of that. We genuinely like our clients.
5. Get creative
Sometimes you just have to have fun. Being too focused on a specific contract or to-do list can stifle creativity. You may need a break from your ordinary routine to move a campaign further.
With my daughter (and any baby really) I always find it amazing just how silly adults can be. We make up songs, make funny faces and noises, and generally do ridiculous things just to make those little faces light up!
These are just a few of the things that have helped me as I have taken on this new role of parent. If you are a parent, what are some things that you’ve learned in your work life that have helped in your parent life? I’d love to hear and learn from you, so please share in the comments.
Sr. Project Manager
Ariana has worked at Portent for 10 happy years, beginning as Ian’s Business Coordinator, then moving up to Traffic Coordinator and, eventually, Project Manager. This last fall she moved up to Senior Project Manager and is working with the Project Management team to help deliver awesome projects for our clients. Read More