Project Management

The Danger of Project Manager Burnout

Following 20 years at a large Canadian telecommunications firm, Bruce established the project management consulting firm Solutions Management Inc (SMI). Since 1999, he has provided contract project/program management services, been a source for project management support personnel and created/delivered courses to over 7,000 participants in Canada, the United States and England.

I made a huge mistake recently. I had the opportunity for an employer to share the cost of my laptop. I thought it was a good idea to centralize everything on one device, and because the laptop and the network I use is very secure, the employer was comfortable with having corporate emails and files on the same device as my personal files.

Not only was there a small financial benefit, but I thought it would be convenient. Now, all from one device, I can access emails related to that employer, as well as my various project management consulting work and even personal correspondences. My thinking was that I could simply open the laptop and focus on whatever was most important to me at that moment. Bad idea!

I use my laptop from the time I get up in the morning to read the news, to the end of the day when I am looking at whatever is important in that moment (it could be a personal email or entertainment). This isn’t to say I use it every moment of every day, but it is used a lot every day of the week. I indeed get the convenience I was looking for, but I created a difficult issue.

Email notifications from my various accounts pop up in the corner of the screen regardless of what I am doing. I could be happily wasting time watching a YouTube video about a funny subject and then find myself immediately drawn to a work issue. The next thing I know, I am rapidly typing a …


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