Samantha Andrews

Everything is a project

One of my favorite people on Twitter, @visakanv, posted a great thread about project management back in 2019.

if you are 2-3% better at project management, over time this compounds to gains in *everything else*, because everything worth doing is a project to be managed

good project management is procedural intelligencehttps://t.co/GhVmYLeEn1

— visa is chilling tf out (@visakanv) August 10, 2019

"Everything worth doing is a project to be managed."

Damn.

You might think of a Project Manager as a job title. A person who sits at a desk and sends a lot of pesky emails asking for status updates.

But Visa helped articulate something I've always felt about project management: it's an important, albeit unsexy life skill.

Setting up my work-from-home desk setup was a project. I had to coordinate with my dad to drive up in his truck to pick up my desk, chair, and monitors. I also had to coordinate with my office manager. Once the desk was delivered, I spent money and time organizing the various cords and cables that were getting tangled underneath. Even still, there are some missing decor elements to purchase and assemble.

When I started telling people that I finally got my desk and monitors set up, they were shocked that it took me so long. (I started working from home in mid-March but didn't get my desk until mid-November.)

But this isn't surprising to me. I knew that picking up my desk was going to take time and energy. The coordinating, purchasing, and organizing deserved its own headspace, and I waited until I had the mental capacity to make it happen efficiently.

This is how I approach most one-off projects. I write down as many to-dos as I can think of (usually in Notion or in the good ol' iOS Notes app). Then I take the next step. Then the next one. And the next. Until the project is complete.

However, many things in life are not one-off projects as described above. In my mind, grocery shopping is a project. Connecting with neighbors is a project. Exercising is a project. Writing is a project. Building strong friendships is a project.

These are projects that we're managing all the time. My goal is to make all of these things feel less like projects and more like the heartbeat of a rhythmic and spacious routine. I'm not quite there yet, so I build systems to help with these everyday projects.

One day, perhaps, all of these things will start to feel more like a second-nature rather than a project to be managed. But for now, the systems help the habits stick.

my desk from above with laptop, books, pens, and notebooks

In 2021, I have a list of projects that I want to work on. Each one requires its own project management system or routine. With each one, I can only really focus on doing the next right thing. Here's what I've done thus far:

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