We all know that the project manager job can be stressful and perhaps the part of it which usually causes most stress is around the decision making aspect. This is when you need to take responsibility for the project and work out how to take it forward in the right way.
If this part of the role is causing you sleepless nights and worry filled days then maybe it is time that you found a way to stop your decisions stressing you out so much. Here are a few of the best methods for doing this which I have come across.
Know What You Are Deciding
The most frightening part of making a decision is when you don’t really know what you are deciding or why you are doing it. Even if you are getting put under a huge amount of pressure to make a decision you will want to make sure that you know exactly what you are dealing with before you work out which approach to take. Sometimes this simply means asking the right question of the right person. If you decide on something without being fully aware of all of the factors involved then this could lead to you getting very stressed out about it later on.
Find a System Which Works for You
There are lots of different ways of making decisions, aren’t there? You might like to go and sit down in the staff restaurant with a coffee, let your brain tick over while you are driving home or even decide when you are lying in bed. The important point here is that you need to find out which system is going to work for you. There is no point trying to force yourself to come up with good decisions in a way in which you don’t feel comfortable Instead, you should try to find which system works best for you and stick to it as much as you can.
Don’t Rush Yourself
I mentioned earlier on the risk of other people trying to rush you in to making a decision but what about when you try to rush yourself? There are plenty of reasons why you might want to do this. For example, you might want to get something out of the way as quickly as possible or else you might not give the issue the importance it deserves. There is usually no reason to rush yourself into making a decision you might regret later on. Even if you are almost sure of what you are going to say you would be well advised to hold fire until the final doubts are cleared up.
Stay in Control
One of the factors which most cause stress is losing control. If you can manage to stay in control of all of the different aspects of your piece of project work then you will have a more enjoyable and stress free time of it at work. When it comes to making decisions this means knowing what you are deciding on and following the process all the way through to conclusion. It can be easy to let go of the control you need when time is tight and you are happy to delegate task out. However, the cost of doing this is that your stress levels can shoot up if you let other people do the things which you know you should really be doing instead of them.
Sleep On It
If you get stressed out by making decisions which you aren’t 100% convinced about then you should consider sleeping on them first of all. In the majority of cases the difference between telling your stakeholders what you plan to do one day or the next isn’t going to cause any issues. Our brains can take a while to come up with all of the different permutations and possible consequences of a complicated decision we need to make. This is why you might say what you are going to do and a few hours later realise that it was a bad move. I think that most of us tend to have a little voice nagging away in the back of our heads when we make a decision which we have some unconscious doubts about. This little voice might not be able to make itself heard very well during the day but it almost certainly will at night time. You should take advantage of this to make sure that you give yourself the opportunity to listen to it before you make your mind up once and for all.