A reader writes:
I have been working on a project for about 2 months, and I have found myself just so bored. It is becoming a problem because I think my attitude is rubbing off on my team. I also find myself not giving my updates my best efforts, and just generally putting off work on this project to the point where I'm afraid I'm going to sabotage it semi-unintentionally.
Is there anything I can try to get myself back and interested in this project again? Or is it a lost cause and I should just ask to be taken off?
Ugh, I hate boring projects. I totally hear you - once I lose interest in a project, it's certainly hard to keep my team motivated. But, you know, it's kinda part of the job. And I know part of you already knows this, otherwise you wouldn't be asking. So - how do you get yourself back in the saddle?
First, take a fresh look at the project. It's going to sound nuts, but try literally looking at it in a different light. Take some time outside of normal work hours at home to look at the project info and see if there's something about the project you can get yourself aligned with again. Is there a part of the project that you really could get excited about? Can you push that to the forefront?
If that doesn't work, try figuring out exactly how much longer the project is going to take. You might not be able to push off the project, but you can certainly fake being engaged if you know exactly how long you have to pretend. Is it just a few weeks? You can totally pretend to be interested for a few weeks. And the more you pretend, the more you might find yourself actually interested again.
If neither of these suggestions work, and you've already given yourself a stern talking-to to get yourself in gear and that failed too, then yes, it might be time to find out how to transition off the project. Of course, that has to be a Thing You Can Do (it might not be - you might not have a choice, or you might be the only PM on staff) and something your manager would support. If that describes your situation, talk to your manager frankly. Present her with a plan you can put into action that talks about how you plan to transition off the project and set the new PM up for success. But be prepared if she says you must stay on the project - you have to go into the conversation knowing it may not work. If that happens, you have no choice but to see the project through to the end...boring or not. Time to buckle down! Good luck.