How I used project management skills to cure my pain

I was in the midst of a project. And I had incredible stomach pain.

So, I went to see a doctor.

But he just did what all doctors do. He handed me a prescription and told me to come again if things didn’t get better.

I was scared this was some serious illness. And I didn’t just want to try out random medicine hoping it would help me.

So I did what every good project manager would do.

Step 1 – I took things into my own hands

If you have a serious problem that you need to solve, you can’t delegate it.

You have to take over control.

I have no problem with doctors, but they are just using their standard playbook to help patients.

And they have no incentive to cure you. They have to get you out of the door as quickly as possible so they can serve more patients. The medical industry is a business just like any other.

Step 2 – I applied common sense and evaluated the odds

While I was scared I was seriously ill, I also knew that chances for this being true were small.

Overall, I was in great shape and never suffered from any serious disease. What if my stomach pain had a much more simple cause?

Like food allergy.

I figured this was the most likely reason.

Step 3 – I set a goal

Now I had a clear goal:

Find out if my health issues were caused by certain types of food.

Step 4: I created a plan

Now that the goal was clear, I had to come up with a suitable action plan that would help me test my assumption.

So, what’s the best way to find out if you’re allergic to specific food items?

I could have just avoided things that cause food allergies. Like nuts, dairy products or spices. But this would have been pure trial and error. And I wanted to be 100% sure I would find the bad guy.

I searched on Google for tips.

Then I found the right strategy:

The elimination diet.

You cut off all kinds of food. Then you keep adding certain food types, one at a time, to see if you have symptoms. If you do, then you know what’s the trigger you have to avoid.

What my diet plan looked like:

  • Day 1: Plain rice, water
  • Day 2: Plain rice, water
  • Day 3: Salted rice, water
  • Day 4: Salted rice, water
  • Day 5: Rice with plain tomato sauce
  • Day 6: ….

Step 5 – I executed and tracked progress

The elimination is great, but it’s also freakin’ hard to sustain.

Why?

Try eating unsalted rice with nothing else for 2 days in a row.

It sucks.

rice

And you get tired.

Man, was I happy when I could finally have bolognese sauce along with the rice.

Life felt good again.

So, I kept adding food groups one after the other. I started to feel better than ever. And the pain in my stomach was gone after a few days.

Then I had milk and cheese.

And BOOM, the pain was back!

Now I knew what I was allergic to: dairy products.

Step 6 – I hit the goal

After I found out that dairy products were the cause behind my stomach pain, I had the solution:

I just had to eliminate milk, cheese, yoghurt and other dairy products from my meal plan. Or buy lactose-free products.

You cannot imagine how happy I was.

It just took me a little over a week to cure myself.

Had I kept going to the doctor I’d probably still have no solution.

The essence of the story

Don’t wait for others to give you a solution.

Be the solution.

You’ve got all that it takes.

Cheers my friend.

Tell me your story

Have you applied project management skills in your personal life?

Leave a comment and tell us more!

Cheers, Adrian

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