6 Factors That Lead to Stress in Project Management and How to Manage It

Project management is notorious for being one of the most stressful professions out there. A project manager is held accountable for the success or failure of a project. Some people believe they are more than capable to cope with the high levels of stress that accompany the job while others refuse to acknowledge they are under stress. 
Chronic stress not only impacts the behavioural and cognitive performance of a project manager but can also affect their physical and mental health negatively. If you’ve chosen project management as a career, you might not be able to change much about the amount of stress you deal with daily, but you can change how you deal with it. Effective stress management is essential before it ruins your life. 

Causes Of Stress In Project Management

Imagine you have a project deadline in two weeks, and you still need to resolve some critical issues. To make matters worse, a key team member is seriously ill. Management is requesting a daily review because the customer isn’t satisfied. In project management, the source of the stress can be varied and include some of the following:

  • Unrealistic timeline to finish the project
  • Lack of resources – equipment and/or personnel
  • Working in a system where project management doesn’t have complete control over the resources
  • Project environment
  • Inter-group conflict in the company
  • Cross-cultural influences and proliferation of virtual teams


Effective Stress Management Techniques

Prioritise Tasks

Organise and assign tasks based on importance and urgency. Focus on urgent and important tasks first and then tackle the rest. Don’t worry about your entire workload, it will only make you feel overwhelmed. Take it one day at a time. 

Don’t Overreact

There’s no need to hate when disliking will do. Be nervous but don’t escalate it to feeling anxious. It’s ok to be angry, but rage is extreme. 

Apply Neuro-Linguistic Programming

NLP provides various concepts and tools to help people cope with and learn to manage negative stress. Using these methods can help you change immobilising and overwhelming feelings into compelling motivating forces. 

  • Exercise – Work time into your busy schedule for physical activities such as hiking, jogging, cycling, or simply walking outside. These physical activities will help you work off stress.
  • Meditation – Learn how to relax instantaneously. Breathing exercises and meditation are proven to be very effective in managing stress. Practice meditation 10 minutes daily to help clear your mind of worrisome thoughts.

Successful stress management does not depend solely on the type of technique you use, but instead the commitment from the person. A strategy that might work for you might not work for the next person. Working to reduce stress can enhance health and happiness for many years and mean the difference between surviving and thriving. 
For more information about stress management and meditation, get in touch with the team at Integrative Coaching today. 

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