How a Project Management Specialist at Boeing is resetting for 2021

Updated: Feb 8

In a conversation between Nicole Nader, James Bawtree and myself in January this year, we chatted about how Nicole and her team are resetting for the new year after the craze 2020 was. She spoke candidly and eloquently on some personal and professional realisations to put into practice this year. We hope you find it helpful.


Nicole Nader's 2021 Reset- jump to a particular point here:

1) Set a personal drum beat

2) Focus on activities with a higher return

3) Clear out the calendar

4) Take quality breaks

5) “The two things we get are our time and our choices: be wise with both.”


Set a personal drum beat...

I want to make sure I get myself into a good routine. I do a lot of working from home and I find the days that I have a routine and some structure, that discipline really does help me get through the day. I start off with a bit of walking and eating a good breakfast, I just find I’m energised for the day, whereas some days you wake up and think “Oh, I’ve only got to walk next door to log on”- and then it can be quite a punishing day. And then I tend to beat myself up for not having done the exercise and starting the day right so I want to make a real concerted effort to set that personal drum beat for myself.


Focus on activities with a higher return ...

One of the other things on my list to start is focus on the activities with a higher return. We like to brag that we’re great multitaskers, but I think that for me, that means I’m doing five things not very well, and not giving any of them my undivided proper attention. Something I’ve never done before that I want to start doing is start my day with the highest return activities, and be in them, and turn off my email notifications. Start dedicating a particular time slot in the day to going through emails and doing that admin side of things. I think the people around me will work that routine out quite quickly and be okay with that, and know that Nicole will be checking her emails at 11am so I don’t have to bug her before then, you know, where it’s easy to see them pop up in the corner of the screen and break your line of thought that you’re in. I want to be more present in what I’m doing to do it better.


Want to hear Nicole speak about it? Watch her interview here >

Clear out the calendar...

I was meant to be on site with my team and my managers this week to a refresh exercise and spend a couple of heavy days workshopping what 2021 looks like- but that involved all of us flying interstate so we’ve had to put that on pause. The intention is to clear out calendars and what has been the reporting cycle and all those things, and start from first principles again. What do we really need to be doing as a team? Do we need five of those meetings? Can one of us attend? Just really trying to keep it down to what we really need to do to still give value across the business, and have those honest discussions of what we can stop or link up with other teams so there’s no duplication of effort.


Take quality breaks ...

One of the things I wrote down, and again, it’ll have to move from being on the list to reality, which is always the hardest part, is to take quality breaks. You could sit at your desk all day at home and think, “Oh, I’ll quickly put the dinner on... I’ll hang the washing up...” and I think “this is great! I’m knocking over all my jobs!”- but have I really taken quality time out for myself and gone for the walk around the block or jumped on the bike for half an hour? And I know in myself it does refresh the mindset for the afternoon, rather than hanging out a load of washing. Sounds crazy, but I’m sure we’re all living it.


"The two things we get are our time and our choices- and to be wise with both."

There’s a quote I heard a couple of weeks ago which I thought was a nice reminder, so I’ve kept it saved on my phone to remind myself- the two things we get are our time and choices, and to be wise with both. And I think for this conversation, and this time of year, it’s a great reminder so I just thought I would share that.



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