Product Management principles hold the secret to your happiness

Ever see yourself doing things that you don’t want to be doing?

Ever see yourself spending huge amounts of energy on the happiness of others?

Ever see yourself wasting copious amounts of time on random social media?

Ever see yourself doing all those things you should not be doing only to end up frustrated and angry?

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Pic by Maya Bisineer. Taken at Salton Sea

 

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you should read on….

NOTE: What I offer is merely a life-hack ūüėČ While written partly in jest, I offer the hack seriously (it works!). I see so many parallels with life and building beautiful/meaningful products that I cannot help but apply product management principles to my life.

If that makes any sense,¬†stay along with me while you read this and note the following –

1. You are your key product, you are your key creation.
2. The product that is “you” exists with YOUR key goals in mind. “You” are really a mission based product focussed on your own happiness and success.
3. If you (your product) are not doing what you should be doing, it is time to do something about it. (As a product manager, you know what you need to do to fix a product). I call this #hitreset.

What is this #hitreset ?

#hitreset is truly hitting reset so you can fix the product that is “you”. It has a few simple steps –

1. Step away –

This is a key. When you are in a rut, step away. Physically step away from your every day life and work. Disconnect. Disengage. It will be hard, but do it.

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Pic by Maya Bisineer. Taken at Joshua Tree National Park on a recent #hitreset

 

2. Figure out what YOUR goals are

It is often impossible to put your finger on the problem when you are in a rut. But most often, it does not matter. What matters is focussing on your goals and starting fresh.

On a recent #hitreset, I discovered that a lot of my discontent is probably due to the lack of learning I have had in my everyday life. Learning is a constant goal of mine and I have done little to move towards that. Once I actually stepped away, I was able to see that some issues at work and home are really not issues at all. My core unhappiness comes from the lack of learning opportunities I am creating for myself on an everyday basis.

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Taken by Maya Bisineer at Pioneer Town, near Joshua Tree National Park

3. Build in a feature set to move towards your goals

This part is simple. Which product manager does not understand what to do next? Brainstorm a set of features, prioritize and move ahead with building and learning.

Few things were clear to me in my case. To read and write more, I need to set time aside. I need a reading list. I need a writing goal.

4. Step back in and start working.

Everyday, take a little step towards the “you” you want to be. Ruthlessly cut off things(features) you don’t need, so you can focus on building what you do need.

I set my preferences on Medium, Quora and Flipboard. I added other interesting publications to my reading list. I started to brainstorm writing ideas.

I have read more in 3 days than I have in months. I have a rhythm with reading and writing again.

5. Measure. Fix. Never lose sight of your goals

Think of yourself as a well designed product that does just what it needs to do.¬† A product that works hard behind the scenes to create an effortless and clean front end. A product that always strive towards the perfect “you”, because that is the natural thing to do.

Everyday, I ask myself if I am learning. If the answer is yes, I move forward. If not, I fix, fix fix.

We do that with every product we build on an everyday basis …why would we not do that with ourselves?¬†Product Management holds more secrets than we are all aware of.

Make it a priority to #HitReset, often. And just like that, “you” will be your biggest¬†hero.