How to suffer as a Project Manager (and reduce your lifespan)?

How to suffer as a Project Manager (and reduce your lifespan)?

A super-simple 5 step approach on how to maximize your suffering as a project manager.

Step 1: Get stuck in your own mind

Overreact to everything; let everyone and everything rile you up.

A change in requirements, a change in team mates, a change in customer demands, whatever it is, instead of consciously responding to it as it happens, react to everything. A good way to do this, to suffer greatly, is by trying to control every little detail. Also, to suffer even more, instead of approaching every challenge as it comes, think of it as a conspiracy of either someone or the universe to make your life difficult. The more you think this way, the more you will suffer.

With regards to what you actually want, if you want to suffer tremendously; daydream but never do anything about it. Imagine you are working on your technical skills by taking trainings and online courses. Imagine you are improving your self reflection and communication skills by reading books and joining workshops. But never let it see the light of the day.

Step 2: Find problems in others

Find an excuse; bad boss, bad colleagues, bad customers, bad traffic, bad food, I am fat, I don't ever get appreciated for my hard-work. Go down that rabbit hole.

Here are more people management hacks to increase your suffering:

  1. Spend all day finding problems in others. Essentially, find someone else to blame for anything that goes wrong.
  2. Ignore your communication tone, techniques and flaws and justify your rude behavior as a reaction to others' bad tone, language and flaws.
  3. Don't forgive others for any mistakes they do. Amplify it by gossiping with colleagues on how that person makes your life harder. Go that extra mile and complain to your boss about that said person.

Steps 1-3 will create more resentment among all members of the project against you. Use this as a reason to complain for all the inaction.

Step 3: Abandon empathy entirely

Don't listen if you want to suffer more.

The more you really listen and get engaged with other people, the more you understand their perspective. This is empathy. Avoid it if you want to suffer. If you want to be singled out and not supported by any of your own stakeholders, stop listening.

It will also greatly increase your suffering if you are biased. Biases can range from gender, racial or class discrimination.

If you are a man, think of every woman in the team as sub-par and incapable of knowing or doing complex things. If you are a woman, think of every man as being too aggressive, rude or go the extra mile by misidentifying friendliness and genuine support as harassment.

Step 4: Always assume the worst

This is easiest and does not take much effort.

Assume everything negative about everything, everyone and yourself.

Assume that if anyone wants to help you and voices a solution in front of everyone in a meeting with management present, that person is just a know-it-all and wants to undermine you.

Assume that people who want to get to know you and are making an effort, have some selfish intentions. They want to find your weak points and use it against you to get a promotion over you or to sabotage your projects.

Take every change and risk in the project as a constant burden. Something that will eat away your sanity. Mentally suffer for it throughout the day. Start smoking and drinking to amplify that suffering physically.

Step 5: Stop taking care of yourself

If you are unable to identify with steps 1-4 and are not suffering because of those, step 5 will be very effective and relatable to many. This one is entirely on how you live your life as opposed to how you behave at your work.

  1. Go to sleep whatever time you want. The less consistent the better. Coffee is addictive, sleep is not. Buy $4 (120 Baht) coffee everyday. You can waste $100 (over 3000 Baht) on coffee per month as it clearly is more important than sleep.
  2. Do not unwind or relax. Feel stressed because you procrastinated and worked late, ate late meals, had intense emotions and added exercise to counter all that.
  3. Create an unrealistic expectation of your work day. Create a very heavy to do list that goes uncompleted.
  4. When you are burnt out, never hold yourself accountable instead find someone else to hold accountable.
  5. Never ask for help.
  6. Feel like an imposter.


For project managers, a sure fire way to maximize suffering is to make the worst of every project. Multi-task during everything you do. Do not schedule urgent work and deep work so that you can be on top of things while also getting valuable work done. Instead spend hours sending "a gentle reminder" or "as I said in my last email" emails, do project work after 6pm and work until 10pm everyday. Even better take your work home and forget about a life outside of work.

If you have made it to the end of this post, thank you very much. I also want to give credit to the author of a self discipline post where I took this idea from.

Also, of-course this is a satire.

Nitika Bhardwaj

Nitika Bhardwaj

I aspire to contribute in my own little way in the development of humanity through the lens of sustainability and conscious living.