Getting Things Done as a Product Manager

When you’re a PM, it’s easy to get sucked into the black hole of trying to do everything, trying to please everyone… only to realize that you’re not doing your job very well. Being an effective product manager is no easy task, and I’ve got three tips to help you get started. But first…

Why is time management such a struggle for product managers? 

  • We have limited time
  • We have limited resources
  • We have limited support
  • And we’re almost always trying to balance time to market with creating a product that delivers value

I’m a big fan of David Allen and his book/productivity methodology, Getting Things Done. Are you a GTDer? If not, I highly recommend you pick up this book

Here are a few ways that YOU can become a more effective product manager:

1. Take control of your time using time-blocking

I love time-blocking because it promotes focused, deep work. I’ve written about how to implement time-blocking here, and this post includes tips for blocking out your time.

2. Just say no

James Clear, the author of the bestselling book “Atomic Habits” recently spoke about the importance of saying “no.”

“When you say no, you are only saying no to one option. When you say yes, you are saying no to every other option.

No is a choice. Yes is a responsibility.”

James Clear

Not only is it critical to be willing and able to say ‘no’, but it’s important to do so quickly and decisively. Check out my 4-step process for graciously saying no to feature requests here

Looking for more tips on how to be a better Product Manager? Check out my free, 24-page e-book that includes 10 strategies to help you be your best.

3. Lead your team to win

The key is to prioritize and focus on incremental activities that put you closer to your goal (whether it’s delivering a more engaging experience for your customers, increasing revenue for your company, etc.). 

Believe it or not, you can learn a lot about winning by taking smaller actions from Tom Brady in my article, “What do Tom Brady and Oprah have in common with product managers?”

If you’d like even more help with being more strategic as a product manager, sign up for my PM Power Hour. This one-hour call with me will provide you with the clarity you need to move forward. I’ll give you no-nonsense advice that you can put into action immediately. Click here to sign up!

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