Thursday, July 1, 2010


Coming off a work project can be as daunting as going into it.

What I mean is once a project is complete (and for the few moments before the next one), it's not unusual to feel a sense of (to quote a great Kris Kristofferson song) "Sunday Mornin' Coming Down." The thrill of the new, the hustle to get it going, the celebration once it works and's finished and you're left with that feeling of a hungover Sunday morning.

But there are ways to minimize that feeling, which can lead to better productivity rather than mire in those low-down post-project blues.

It helps psychologically to move away from a project once the heavy lifting is done. It's easy to get caught up in those final touches and I've found that if you have somebody on your team who's really good at doing the "tweaks" - those little things that help the project sprint (rather than trudge) across the finish line - you'll be better prepared for the next project looming on the horizon.

It's also not a bad idea after a large project to get yourself organized again. Clean off your desk, clear out your inbox, remove reminders of the project and file them away (don't throw them away), in a place you can readily access when you need a reference for a similar project in the future.

Let your boss know the job's finished and give him or her a blow-by-blow description of the process, including the pratfalls that happened along the way. And make sure to let him or her know the job came in on time and under budget. And it doesn't hurt to do a little "happy dance," and sound off a little about the job well done by you and your team. This isn't obnoxious boasting but shows you're happy with the outcome - and if you're happy, you're boss will be happy too.

The best way to really come off a project is to plan a little vacation time after its all said and done. Totally remove yourself with a few days away. It'll make attacking that next project a little easier with clear focus.

And, remember - if you take some time off...don't check your e-mail...

How do you come off a project and avoid those "morning after" blues?

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