Don't have enough time to do the things you want? I am Laura and am a time and project management expert. Ask Me Anything!

Laura L Rose
Jun 7, 2018

Laura specializes in time management, project management, professional development, and work-life balance strategies.  She helps busy professionals and entrepreneurs create effective systems so that they can comfortably delegate to others, be more profitable and have time to enjoy life even if they don’t have time to learn new technology or train their staff.

Want more information?  Check out her website at www.LauraLeeRose.com

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What is your advice for choosing a suitable organizer? What is better suited: paper one or an electronic one?
Jun 14, 4:31AM EDT0

"Suitable" is in the eye of the beholder.  Some people are very tactile and work better with paper.  Some people are very technically savvy and their mobile devices are virtually attached to them.

I have always believed that the best tool is the tool that works best for you.  Everyone is different.

The best way to decide is to review your normal MO (or the way you normally work).  What are YOU already using successfully?

If you are already at the computer or always on your mobile device, an electronic or cloud-based one may be something to try.

If you already work with a planner or paper calendar, then paper may be the way to go.

Other options are to hire a virtual assistant or personal assistant. 

If you are always texting or using your iPhone, setting up electronic reminders would be useful.

Jun 14, 1:34PM EDT0
How is organizing time similar to organizing space? How can you make the idea of time tangible?
Jun 13, 7:42PM EDT0

Time is very tangible.  

Your timer organizer is your calendar.

You can block out time on your calendar to devote to your imperative and important items.  Treat all your important items (health, family, community service, etc) as important appointments in your calendar.  Allow the "every-day" things fill up the gaps around your important appointments.

Take advantage of your timer and stopwatches.  Once again - time is very tangible.  If you need to leave by 2:00 to get to an appointment on, set your timer.

If you have a tedious job that you continually put-off, decide to spend 20 minutes a day on it until done.  Block that time on the calendar and set your alarm to go off after 20 minutes.

If you are having trouble estimating upcoming projects, time yourself on your current project.  There are many time-tracking apps available to track your time on tasks.  Use your historical data to make better project estimates in the future.

If you find yourself spending too much time on facebook or youtube, define your time-limit upfront.  Before going on the facebook or youtube, decide to spend only 45 minutes (make a deliberate time limit) then set your timer.  Once your timer goes off, move on.  You can also deliberately choose to add another 10 minutes to your viewing - but make it a deliberate decision and set your timer again.

Just make every decision deliberate and mindful.

Just like organizing your space, make sure that everything that crosses your desk (or attention) is taking you closer to your various goals and prioritize them appropriately.

Jun 14, 1:25PM EDT0
What is the biggest obstacle for overcoming procrastination?
Jun 13, 7:29PM EDT0

One of the biggest obstacles is keeping your procrastination to yourself.   It's easier to procrastinate if you are only answering to yourself.

It's a lot easier to complete something if you make an external commitment (commit to someone else or line up an accountability partner) or attach a Reasonable Forcing Function to your project.

An example of an accountability partner is to just make a commitment to someone else (a family member, a co-worker,  an associate or friend) that you want to complete this task by XX date.  They are then allowed to ask about your progress throughout the project.

A reasonable forcing function is when you attach an important event to your project.  For example, you want to promote yourself and your experience through speaking engagements but you keep procrastinating.   A reasonable forcing function is to submit several abstracts to various professional conferences.  Once one of your abstracts is accepted, you work on your presentation and paper.  Conference presenters are also allowed in the event free of charge.  You will be able to take advantage of all the training and work on your professional development at the same time.

You have a home project to complete your entertainment center by summer.  A reasonable forcing function is to invite family and friends to a July 4th celebration - including a movie or dance in your entertainment center.

Combination of accountability partners and reasonable forcing functions example:   You want to drop a few pounds before a big event.  Several of your friends are going to the same big event.  Your group makes a commitment to exercise/walk 3 times a week and share your health journals.  Your group support and celebrate each other along the way.

You want to write a book on topic X but are procrastinating.  You tell a friend about your goal - as a way to line up an accountability partner.  You find out that they also want to write a book, but on topic A.   You and your friend both agree to meet weekly for 4 hours (in the morning) to work on your respective books.  At lunch, each share your progress and exchange ideas.

You now have a regular "play-date" for working on your book.

Jun 14, 1:09PM EDT0
If you were to pick one skill for a project manager to have, what would it be and why?
Jun 11, 3:50PM EDT0

Patience.  

You will be working with executives, department managers, clients, vendors, freelancers/contractors, team leads,  sales, and marketing teams.  Each group will have their unique perceptions and project agendas.   

Sales want to promise the client things to keep the client happy; clients want to get more for their money, developers want to keep some work/life balance in their lives, etc. 

Also, companies are in the business to make money.   Sales are focused on making their quotas and commissions (easy to prove they generate revenue).  Developers are responsible for creating the product or service - which is also directly associated with revenue.

Project managers are responsible for on-time delivery and staying within budget, yet they don't really have any authority over the resources.  They also have a more difficult time showing how they affect the revenue stream.

It's just the nature of the beast.

Therefore, project managers need a lot of patience to understand and work with the variety of teams and perceptions.  They need to take the time to both understand and influence the teams without actual resource control.  They need to have the presence of mind to keep metrics on their tasks - in order to illustrate their contribution to the revenue stream (reducing costs, increasing revenue, increasing customer satisfaction/loyalty/referrals, staying under budget, etc).

Jun 11, 6:26PM EDT0
Entrepreneurs like to stay in control when they're first developing their business but when is the right time to start delegating?
Jun 11, 9:06AM EDT0

Entrepreneurs should spend time up-front, outlining their Business and Marketing plans before taking that first important step.  It is in these business plans that they plot out when and how they will handle staff and resource issues. 

Within your business and marketing plans, you should deliberately outline how you plan to staff your business (interns, volunteers, part-time staff, etc).  Your business plan should be outlining your financial needs, revenue forecast, expense budgets, etc.   In your business plan, you outline at what point you will be outsourcing or be delegating certain items.  In your business plan, you will be outlining where you will outline what your start-up costs are (including required resources) as well as how you intend to acquire the needed funds (via investors, partnerships, loans, etc).

You should plan all of this out before your start your business.

Entrepreneurs starting out should find mentors and experts in their current field of interest.  Learning from others is the best way to avoid the "dumb tax".

www.score.org/  is an organization that assists new business owners with free consults.

Reviewing your business and marketing plans with a business coach or business strategist is also recommended.  Others have already been here .... so take advantage of their experience.

Jun 11, 1:29PM EDT0
Do you think some people are natural leaders and thus will succeed in managing positions while others are just meant to be followers or do you believe that with strategy and dedication, anyone could succeed in a management position?
Jun 10, 8:51PM EDT0

Hey, Kristen;

This is a great question.  I feel that anyone can succeed in anything they have the passion for.   I feel that all leaders start out as followers and all followers can be a team lead or management (especially when the project is aligned with their individual passions).

I think anyone can succeed in a management position,  as long as they manage in alignment with their own personality, talent, skill, and experiences.  If you try to manage like someone else, your team will detect that mismatch and may start to distrust you because you are not being honest with yourself or your team.

Take the time to discover the right type of management style that fits you and your team best.  Then develop a strategy that supports your organization/department goals.

I know your situation is unique, so feel free to reach out if you would like a one-on-one consult.

Jun 11, 1:15PM EDT0
How would your coaching sessions help people who have high demanding jobs like surgeons have more work/life balance? What are the key concepts that you'll tackle with them and how long before they can see a change in their lives?
Jun 10, 3:50AM EDT0

Surgeons with highly demanding jobs often enjoy the pace.  If you enjoy what you do, you don't see the issue as a work/life balance.   You may be just experiencing the need to do other things as well.

During our coaching sessions, I would help surgeons create their imperative lists (things that if everything else were to disappear, and they only had those items left - they would still be very happy).

We would then create a list of items that do not take a lot of time but would fulfill their needs.  We would be focused on "quality of time" instead of "quantity".   You do not have to spend a lot of time on something, to get the emotional and physical benefits of the activity.

I know everyone's situation is different.  I give a complimentary one-on-one consultation to learn more about the individual and to see if our personalities are a good fit for a coaching partnership.

Jun 10, 8:43PM EDT0
How does your practice assist people in their businesses or their career path?
Jun 8, 10:05PM EDT0

I help busy people create effective systems so that they can comfortably delegate to others, be more profitable and have time to enjoy life even if they don’t have time to learn new technology or train their staff. 

I have a knack for turning big ideas into on time and profitable projects.

I help people identify what is most important to them and structure their schedule and activities to best achieve those goals.  I also help train their staff so that they can comfortably delegate the other important items to the right people.

I transform the way you run your business into a business you love to run.

If I could show you how to grow your business by 50% without spending more time on it, would you be interested?

Last edited @ Jun 9, 8:36AM EDT.
Jun 9, 8:25AM EDT0
What is your coaching approach to help professionals to achieve their goals?
Jun 8, 8:21PM EDT0

I normally meet with the individual to get to know them a little (and vise versa).  At the end of the consult, we decide if we are a good fit.

At that time we enter into a contract for coaching services.  My coaching packages include worksheets, exercises, eCourses and one-on-one meetings to help the individual decide exactly what he/she wants in both her personal and professional life.

After we document her goals in the form of vision, mission and purpose statements, we create SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely).

I then provide additional worksheets, guides, training, and recommendations to help her achieve the next goal.

We meet regularly to review progress and adjust strategies when appropriate.

Feel free to visit my website at www.LauraLeeRose.com or email me at Laura@LauraLeeRose.com for additional information on my practice.

To participate in a confidential One-on-One Laser Coaching Session with Coach Laura, just click the link below, pick the session time that works for you, and sign up. Each session will include 20 minutes of Laser Coaching with time afterward for a few questions. Take advantage of this opportunity to experience coaching. . Sign up now and come ready to chat. One-on-One Laser Coaching Signup

Last edited @ Jun 8, 9:34PM EDT.
Jun 8, 9:21PM EDT0
What are tricks to managing work and life well?
Jun 8, 3:39PM EDT0

One trick that I like to use is the calendar.  Use your calendar to schedule the things that are important to you.    If spending time with your family is important to you, block out time on your calendar for family events.  If staying healthy and fit is important to you, block out time on the calendar (just like a business appointment) to exercise.  If you want to give back to the community,  make an appointment in your calendar to do that.

Schedule the time in your calendar and let every day, unimportant things fill in the gaps around your imperative or important things.

Read this Life-Lesson for more clarity on this.  Mayonaise Jar Story

Another useful tool is your timer.  Everyone has a timer or an alarm.  If you only want to spend 30 minutes on something, set that timer.  If you need to leave by a certain time to get to your appointment on-time, set that timer.  If you have a task that is tedious and boring, commit to working on it for 20 minutes a day and set that timer.

Last edited @ Jun 9, 8:39AM EDT.
Jun 8, 4:21PM EDT0
What is the most important strength women bring to the business?
Jun 8, 5:34AM EDT0

Regardless of male or female, there are some important attributes to a business.   There have been studies regarding the different way men and women approach businesses.

Here is one study Characteristics of Men and Women Entrepreneurs

You might find this table from that study interesting.

Last edited @ Jun 9, 8:39AM EDT.
Jun 8, 8:04AM EDT0
Are there certain industries that are better for work/life balance?
Jun 8, 2:01AM EDT0

I believe that if work/life balance is important to you, you can achieve it in any industry.   BUT - there are industries that make career advancement difficult if you want a work/life balance.   You can still have a career in that field - but advancement may not be quick.

 Having said that, I think it is less associated with an industry and more associated with your life phase and personality.

It really all depends on your personal and professional goals.

Some people choose a fast-paced, high-profile job or industry for their career advancement early in life.  This allows individuals to focus on their careers when they are single.   Once they have achieved a certain level of advancement and security, they tend to focus on other areas of their life.  It is in this phase that people often ask about how to introduce work/life balance.

People that are content with their fast-paced, career-centric, high-profile jobs rarely ask about work/life balance strategies.   At this stage, work/life balance isn't a priority for them.

I know your situation is different.  If you want to chat one-on-one, just let me know.

Jun 8, 7:56AM EDT0
What are some of the biggest mistakes women make when dealing with work/life balance?
Jun 7, 1:59PM EDT0

One of the biggest mistakes women make when dealing with work/life balance is "not putting themselves first".

Many women have that motherly instinct which is wonderful.  But often times they tend to their spouses, children,  workplace, extended family, and communities - before themselves.  

   'Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.'

In order to take care of others, one must take care of oneself first.  The best way to keep some work/life balance is to take out that calendar and block time for your important self-rejuvenating and imperative activities.  Allow all your other daily tasks fill in the time around those imperative activities (or even combine the activities).

Don't assume that you are the only one that can accomplish a task.  Just because a task is a MUST DO - doesn't mean that YOU must do it.  Other family members are perfectly capable of doing laundry, vacuuming, making meals, and washing the dishes.  Make a list of all the tedious tasks on separate index cards and allow your family to select the chores that they would like to champion.  Items without owners are not done (or done rarely).  If the item is important to someone, it will get done by the person that is most affected.  If the item is not that important to anyone - does it really need to be done?

Also - announce your schedule to your family and workplace, so that they can manage/schedule their time appropriately.

Including family members and friends in your self-rejuvenating and imperative activities also increases the probability that you will do them.

One example:  An imperative work/life balance item may be to exercise more.  Therefore, set up regularly scheduled walking or biking groups with family or friends several times a week.   Agree to walk around the office building during lunch with a co-worker.  

I know your situation is different.  Let me know if you would like to chat about your specific scenario.

Jun 7, 2:51PM EDT0

How do you market your Udemy courses? How do you get the ideas for what to make a course about and do you keep in touch with the people taking the courses you create?

Jun 7, 1:16PM EDT0

Udemy does much of the marketing for you, although you can also market the courses yourself.   

Udemy has several ways to communicate with the people taking your courses.  Their platform has ways to answer questions, send announcements and stay in contact with your online students.

Class ideas come from all directions.  

Jun 7, 2:27PM EDT0
In your experience, What is an important skill for a project manager to succeed?
Jun 7, 8:20AM EDT0

It is difficult to narrow it down to one skill.  But certainly, an important skill is empathic listening.

 Empathic listening (also called active listening or reflective listening) is a way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding and trust.

Jun 7, 12:12PM EDT0
How does one motivate their team to increase their productivity and performance?
Jun 6, 8:04PM EDT0

As with any project (whether it be a home project or work), it is easier to motivate your team if your team all have similar or at least complimentary goals.  If the success of the project gives everyone something they desire - it will be easier to motivate.

One suggestion is to discover why each member should want this project to succeed.  Then use those common goals to influence and motivate.

It doesn't have to be monetary or a reward.  It can simply be things that compliment their other goals.

  • I know this event is after-hours, but if you can represent us at this fund-raiser, you will be networking with several corporate CEO members that will also be good for your own business.
  • I know this is a rush order, but if you can complete these graphic designs on-time, we will also permit you to publish them on your individual website and LinkedIn website (as long as you keep our logo in the corner).

It's the "What's in it for them" strategy.

If the team isn't meeting their productivity and performance goals, it is also important to understand why.

  • Are the productivity and performance goals unrealistic?
  • Is there a bottleneck or procedural clitch?
  • Are there miscommunication and unclear directions?

Finding solutions to procedural slowdowns are also effective ways to improving productivity and improving the morale of the team.

Last edited @ Jun 7, 8:02AM EDT.
Jun 7, 8:01AM EDT0
How should a project manager deal with conflicts between his team memebers?
Jun 6, 7:11PM EDT0

Someone else asked this very same question. 

I am not convinced that project managers should handle insubordination or team infighting.   Those topics are actually the individual's manager and HR job.  The best thing the project manager can do is to "stay in his/her lane" - and allow/respect others (HR and managers) to do their job.  

Team communication in regards to the project schedules, project tasks, etc - do fall under the project manager's domain.  The project manager should try to stay focused on his/her specific task - which is to assist in the successful conclusion of a project.

If the insubordination and team infighting are affecting the production or project schedules, the project manager should identify the delays and reason for them.  Then take those concerns to the team manager.   Respect that the manager is very well equipped to handle those types conflicts.  And allow the team manager to do his/her job. 

The team manager and HR can then define a plan of action to correct the situation.  While the project manager can supply recommendations to the team manager - it is not the project manager's job to actually "manage the team".  

Jun 7, 7:47AM EDT0
What are the toughtest parts of being in the management position of a project? How should one be prepared to meet the challenges of the position?
Jun 6, 3:49PM EDT0

One of the more challenging aspects of project management is realizing that, although you are responsible for making sure project stays on-time and in the budget, none of the resources (doing the work) report to you.  You have no reporting authority over the team.  You are actually in service to the team.

This means you have to use your personality and influence to guide or coach the team toward success.  You will have to be a problem solver and critical thinker - to pitch the right answers to keep everyone on target.

You will need to be selective in and patient with your solutions, because if the team isn't ready for the answer - they will not hear it.

You will have to do your best to understand the different stakeholders' and departments motives - so that you can find a common ground amongst the group to accomplish everyone's goals.

It's not easy because these things are all intangible.  When you succeed,  no one will realize exactly what you have accomplished.  But you will know that it was no small feat.

Jun 6, 4:28PM EDT0
What is the vision of LauraLeeRose? How is it serving the project management community?
Jun 4, 4:27AM EDT0

Laura specializes in time management, professional development, and work-life balance strategies.  She helps busy professionals and entrepreneurs create effective systems so that they can comfortably delegate to others, be more profitable and have time to enjoy life even if they don’t have time to learn new technology or train their staff.

At the end of the day, she shifts the way you run your business into a business you love to run.

Click here to watch a quick intro.

Last edited @ Jun 8, 6:24PM EDT.
Jun 4, 6:41AM EDT0
What are some of your memorable experiences of any project management event?
Jun 3, 1:19PM EDT0

One of the more memorable experiences in any project management event is successful communication between different groups or units of an organization.  One duty of the project manager is to be a liaison between the customer and the development/production team.

Here is one story of a successful interchange.

At Rational Software, we were developing software development, project management, and automated test tools.  There was one incident in which the client insisted our development team include a drag-drop feature in our next project management software release (which was scheduled a few days away).  The client threatened to drop us if we did not deliver that features.

Development was adamant that it was too risky to include that feature in the upcoming release.  We were using a third-party resource library that did not include a drag-drop feature.  Modifying the third-party resource would have affected too many other integration points.

Before the discussion got too heated, I asked the client about the problem they were trying to solve with this drag-drop feature.  They shared that they wanted a way to create "new project plans" from existing project files.  They wanted to be able to drag-drop their selected files from older project plans to create their "new project plans/files".

After better understanding the client's need, I was able to inform them that they can actually do this with their current version of our product!  They didn't have to wait until the next release.

I showed them our "import function" in which they can highlight any file(s) in previous projects and hit the "import" button to import them into their new project plan directory.  The "import function" also allowed you to drill down to folders, files, and even code source.  You can even import "everything except items you exclude/mask".

After I showed them how to accomplish their task with their current version, they were delighted.  They even agreed that this design was even more powerful and flexible than their "drag-drop" design.

Lesson learned here - is to distinguish between what the client is wanting and what the client is asking.  Sometimes they do not match.  The client was wanting a way to "create a new project plan from previous/old project files".  But the client was asking for a specific software design.  They were confusing the "what they wanted" with "how to accomplish what they wanted".

As a project manager and product manager - you need to work with the different groups to clarify the different groups wants and needs.

Jun 3, 3:37PM EDT0