Work is for Projects, Home is for People

Pick your Priorities

A colleague recently questioned their innate project manager-ness when her spouse expressed surprise in her reluctance to “manage projects at home.” I let her know some of the things people have said to me over the years.

  • “You are so organized at work, but your house looks so cozy and…lived-in.”
  • “Staff march to your orders, but you can’t even seem to control two children.”
  • “I bet you print out daily agendas for your vacations.”

At work, I’m very focused on accomplishing the objectives at hand. Typically, that means my primary focus is delivering a project. I care for my teammates, but the project is usually the top priority. Therefore, I can come across as rather rigid, with little time for non-project related banter.

My job at the office is to keep people on task and motivated so things keep moving as efficiently as possible.

At home, it is a very different story. At home relationships come first. Dishes, laundry, dusting, and bedtime routines are a distant priority to the emotional needs of my children, spouse, self, parents, siblings, and friends. I have many unfinished projects going on in my home. These projects are not measured by scope, schedule, and budget. They are measured by the opportunities they create for me to bond with my family members.

My job at home is to keep people health and happy so we can be our best selves and treat others as kindly as possible.

My unwillingness to control things at home like I control things at work means I am a well rounded person with my priorities in order. However, I understand how an accomplished PM with everything under control can be really sexy. What spouse wouldn’t want that side of his wife to walk in the door every once in a while…

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