Project Management

6 Lessons a Broken Ankle Taught Me About Life…and Project Management

PMI Pearl City, Hyderabad Chapter

Dr. Deepa Bhide, PMP is a physician and currently an independent healthcare IT and project management consultant. She has a postgraduate degree in Pediatrics and Neonatology from the University of Health Sciences, India. Deepa is an advocate of using project management in healthcare and related domains. She has worked extensively in the confluence of clinical medicine, IT and project management domains with hands-on experience in managing projects from conception to closure.

I was going about my normal life on that rainy Sunday morning in early July—when I suddenly skidded and fell on the ground. One moment I felt like a galloping horse—and then in an instant was suddenly shot up with tranquilizer, collapsing to the ground.

I sustained a complex fracture of my left ankle joint, one that involved both bones of my leg. I was operated on for over five hours the same day, then hospitalized for a week before being discharged. I was advised to take strict bedrest for 12 weeks (three months!) to ensure optimal healing. Already, the panicked questions were mounting in my mind:

  • Will I walk normally again?
  • Will I be able to fulfil my responsibilities toward my family, or will I be a burden on them, hampering their joy and growth?
  • How will this affect my profession?
  • What will happen to the aspirations and expectations I have for my life?

These thoughts crossed my mind repeatedly, and I had no answers.

Over those 12 weeks, I was confined to the bed with little or no movement at all. Along with the healing, this period helped me relax both my mind and my body. Most importantly, it gave me an opportunity to be introspective—which often proves elusive for me.

Here are my reflections from this time period, which I quickly realized are also lessons we can all take to heart in our careers as project managers:

1. Be …

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Very funny, Scotty. Now beam down my clothes.