Project Management

Take a Break...It's Worth It

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Over the holidays last year, I was chatting with colleagues about nothing particularly serious. The topic came up of an appropriate song for project management. There were a number of humorous (and not always professional) suggestions, and a good time was had by all.

But one of the songs that came up made me think. I am a huge music fan, and my taste in music is perhaps not what you might expect—so some of the songs we came up with were less mainstream. The one that stuck with me was a song by Iron Maiden called “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner.” Here are some of the lyrics:

I've got to keep running the course
I've got to keep running and win at all costs
I've got to keep going, be strong
Must be so determined and push myself on

I think most project managers can relate to that! It also reminded me of something I was told when I was first learning project management (and what I am sure is regularly told to new PMs to this day): Project management is a marathon, not a sprint. The implication is that you must prepare yourself for a long struggle, not try to do too much out of the gate. Maintain your energy levels for when things really get tough.

Okay, I get it. But it’s 2019 now, and the work/life balance is supposed to be a real thing. We’re supposed to be working smarter, not harder—and technology is …

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"In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed - but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

- Orson Welles, The Third Man