Treating Life As A Project

Treating Life As A Project
This post was written by Arne Dörries


"Tell me about your life."

Most people answer this question by listing major events of their past life in a chronological order.

What does this suggest? It suggests that most people don't look at their current life's situation as a whole but instead just take account of majorly interesting or disruptive events while missing everything else in between.

Not only does this way of looking at life make it incredibly difficult to strategically build your life, but it also makes your life unnecessarily fragile to day to day disruptions.

In this post, we are taking a look at how to solve these problems by treating your life as a project.

This post covers...

  1. ❓ What is does it mean to treat your life as a project
  2. ✅ The Benefits of Treating your Life as a Project
  3. 🛠️ How to practically turn your life into a project
  4. 🌍 Conclusion

What does it mean to treat your life as a project?

Treating your life like a project boils down to this simple idea: Reminding yourself of the fact that your life is a structure - consisting of multiple parts - that evolves over time, to allow you to have enough of an overview to build your life intentionally.

This is achieved by taking valuable project management principles like structure, intentionality, attention to detail and focus and applying them to life.

The benefits of treating your life like a project

The core benefit of treating your life like a project is perspective and the benefits that result from this:

  1. strategic life management

In order to be strategic about managing your life and allocating resources & efforts effectively, you have to have an overview.

With any regular project, getting an overview over what it is you want to achieve, why you want to achieve it and how you practically want to achieve those things, would be among the first things to secure the foundation of the success of your project.

When it comes to life though, we usually don't act this way. Instead, we get so pulled into the daily rush of our lives that we sometimes never get to think about how we want to shape our lives and what our lives even look like at the current moment.

Treating your life like a project allows you to take a step back to sit down and think about exactly these things.

  1. identity protection

By treating your life like a project strategist, you gain the opportunity to not just identify as the cast of your life, but as the director drawing up the story behind the curtains.

The cast of your life represent the different versions of yourself that live your everyday life in the different areas of your life like at work or with your family. The problem is that each of these characters has a very limited view and thus isn't really capable of making the smartest choices to move your life forward in the desired direction.  

By treating your life like a project, you gain the opportunity to create a director or CEO identity that watches over the whole of your life from behind the curtains. With an omniscient view on all of the individual characters and an idea of where the story should go, this director or CEO can manage and coordinate the characters (the actual players) effectively. But what is also means is that whatever happens to one specific character, the story can still go on, because there is that director or CEO in the background capable of making necissary changes to the story to still tell a great story despite practical hickups during filming.

How to practically treat your life like a project

There are two initial steps to start treating your life like a project and getting into the rhythm of continuously zooming out of the day to day mess of your life.

The first step is to decide on an actual name for your project life. Although it is advised to make it a personal and memorable one, you can choose any name you like. The mere fact of having an actual project name for your life to refer back to when things get messy makes your new approach on life that much more concrete and real.

The second practical step is to draw up a map of life. For more information, read my post on creating a map of life here. To summarise though, a map of life will provide you with the starting point for treating your life strategically and managing it from a director's perspective.


It is easy to get sucked into the restless stream of your everyday life and to lose sight of the bigger picture.

As a result, you fail to strategically build your life and become fragile to any form of attacks on your identity and general life.

You don't have enough of an overview to make smart decisions on what to do next or what gaps to fill to prevent major issues down the line. And every problem that occurs seems massive because you lack the perspective that most things that could happen to you will only affect a tiny part of your life if you actually looked at it in its entirety.

Treating your life like a project is one model for solving these problems by transferring principles from project management to life.