I just embarked on a mini personal project – compiling the timeline of my ‘life story’ starting from tertiary education, this is how it got started.
I just finished an article on how to select a Cardiovascular PACS (I’ll post it up later, its 2:30 am in the morning of 28th Dec, passion can only motivate me this much 🙂 ) and was about to resume my MSc Computing’s project when my wife asked me if I will ever stop studying (I was trying to convince her that I should started on another Post Graduate Diploma in May 2008) and I pause to think of about what I have been doing over the years (and mind you, I’m not that old).
So I started to dig for documents pertaining to my education, career, housing, marriage, web portal and some other special events etc etc and I was amazed with the amount of information I’ve managed to gather in such a short time, this is the advantage of running all aspect of my life like projects!
While I do not have a gnatt chart for my life (yes, that is impossible, even for me), I do have timelines (with milestones) and priority listing for most of the stuff I did (after tertiary education), as I compile the timeline, I started to reflect on how things could have been done better but overall, I am rather please with the progress / results (versus my lofty goals).
As with all projects, some didn’t make it to completion, like my Phd (but that is classified as low priority) but some just got rescheduled (effectively) in order to deliver other high priorities, like my driving license. I started the journey for my driving license back in Mar 1999 and had to put it on hold in Nov 2000 (after failing the test a couple of times), but I kept it on my rader and resume it in June 2006. I got my license in Mar 2007. Six years is not too late as driving in Singapore is not really needed (but I’m driving these days :))
Along the way I went on to complete many other stuff (mostly simultaneously) and to be honest, I was very impressed that I had managed to pull off so many ‘time and resources intensive’ high priorities tasks at the same time and yet be relatively please with the outcome (try working as a regional manager of a top consulting firm, do a post graduate course in medical informatics, go for driving lessons, accompany and care for a pregnant wife, maintain a web portal with good readership (this one) and acing it while going about with the rest of the daily activites in life without going crazy 🙂 )
I’m not saying I’m a super project manager or some genius, else I’d be someone rich or famous (or both). So how did I manage to do that, well, I applied basic project management skills to my life, define the scope with a goal in mind, set priorities and resources, review it regularly to ensure things are going on schedule, add resources or manage priorities when necessary etc. While not everything was smooth sailing but things worked out well (so far).
I reckon the timeline will make a wonderful reference if I ever get to write my biography, now all I got to do is compile it nicely after getting some sleep 🙂
Adam, you have stumbled upon one of the first two things I advise beginning life story (autobiography) students: Make a timeline of your life, and start jotting down as many bare-bones memories as you can think of. Neither will be quickly finished, especially for people older than you.
You’ve already discovered one of the major benefits of a timeline: you see various aspects of your life in new relationships, and it showed you the value of your project management approach to life.
Bravo. Keep it up.
Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal