Yes, the PM workdays can be hard sometimes: Somehow the Product Manager is involved in everything and the danger to become more a “Firefighter” than a Product Manager is high! (And in the work contract it says “Product Manager” not “Firefighter“, doesn´t it?) Anyway, whenever you have the feeling that the release cycles get shorter and shorter while the to-do-list gets longer and longer, you should try the following:
Take a nap!
One of the coolest things I learnt in Spain is to take a daily nap in the lunch break! It definitely helps a lot to relax. 30 minutes are enough! It is even scientifically documented that a “Siesta” is healthy!
Go jogging in the morning
…or in the evening if you are not so much into getting up early. My Favourite: Jump into the sea during the run for the ultimate recreation effect!
Switch off instant messenger and Email notifications from time to time
Yes, I am serious! Nobody expects from you that you are always available and they understand that you have to focus on other tasks from time to time. If a task needs your full concentration, better switch the instant messenger off and you will be more productive!
Say “No” the right way
PMs that always say “Yes” will sooner or later get into trouble, so saying “No” the right way becomes an essential skill for Product Managers. A good way to say “No” that almost always works is to refer to tasks with higher priority that need to get done for this release cycle. You can find more useful tips how to say “No” in Carl Knibbs post.
Work outside the office
Try to organize your tasks in that way that you can work one or two days outside from the office. This should help to stay focussed and produce quality work. See here also Tabita Greens post about Product Focus.
I hope I could help to make your day more relaxed and productive! What are your favourite ways to fight the stress?