Guest Post by Jonathan Poston
Getting things done is about more than just putting good project management tools in play. No project manager wants to become a mouse darting about helplessly through an electroshock-guided maze.
Being a good project manager first requires the right get-it-done mindset. Using these three mental training exercises and strategies, project managers may gain more control over their projects, more confidence in reaching goals, and less burnout when it’s time to start another project.
The “internal” right get-it-done attitude is what motivates the team over the long-haul, not the often ignored “external” automated task reminders and alarms.

Meditation

Because project management is about setting goals, and keeping the team on task, it’s easy to get trapped in a mindset of reaction.
Project managers need to be especially careful to avoid this trap as it creates an over-dependency on routine, effectively sentencing members of the team to a group-think state of mind that only works along a rigid linear path, from step to predictable step, without deviation.
Today’s project managers, at least in the fast-paced start-up tech world, often employ agile, iterative practices that stress simultaneous, whole-team collaboration on MVP (most viable products) releases that may never reach a true finish line.
To prevent being mired in a Pavlovian nightmare and empower independent decision making, step away from the stimulus-response loop with meditations throughout the day.
There are even some nice meditation apps to help with that. Read what Adobe is doing with meditation.

Looking forward

This is more about training the mind to keep its eye on the target ahead, rather than staying bogged down in repetitive thoughts about past experiences gone wrong. Successful managers realize they have no control over situations they wish could have gone different, and move on to the next order of business.

Visualization

One technique that can help you look forward, rather than fall prey to unproductive cycles of negative past thinking, is visualization.
Project managers can invigorate themselves and their teams with a visualization session to start each project fresh. Map out paths to the goal, and literally walk down those paths in as much detail as possible, seeing the positive results and successful along the way.
Otherwise, the cobwebs, and associated negative emotions of previous projects can cloud what should be a new and exciting experience.
Disclaimer: The author of this article is not a mental health professional or a trained psychologist. The advice given here is by no means meant to be therapy and/or treatment for any psychological disorder.
Jonathan Poston is a digital marketing consultant and also leads meditation sessions for technology professionals who want to unplug, reclaim their thoughts, and restore balance. Connect on LinkedIn.