#ProductMonthChallenge: 30 Days to a Better PM

Jump start your best product-self, with 30 days of learning, growing, and connecting.

Product managers are curious. They’re always hungry to learn more, to connect with new people, and to become the best version of themselves. There are a million different ways to do product management, and half the fun of being in the industry is trying them out!

We’ve designed #ProductMonthChallenge especially for you, to help you explore the world of product a little bit more every day. This challenge is for product people of all levels. Whether you’re just getting started in the industry, or you’ve been running the show for years, there’s always something new to learn…

How it Works

  1. Download your copy of the calendar.
  2. If you’re following along with us on April 1st 2021, we’ll be adding new Instagram stories with your daily prompts. (If you’re joining the challenge after April 2021, you can catch these in our highlights.)
  3. You’ll have a new task every weekday, and you’ll have all weekend to finish Friday’s task.
  4. We’ve got a mix of tasks to help you learn, that encourage you connect with your community, and to help you build healthy habits in your working life.
  5. Don’t forget to keep us up to date on your progress! Use #ProductMonthChallenge and tag us @ProductSchool on your favorite platforms, to interact with us and your fellow challenge-takers!
#ProductMonthChallenge Week One

Day 1: Share Your Intentions on Social Media

Announce to the world your intentions to become a better version of yourself. Tell us, and your fellow challenge-takers, what you hope to gain by the end of the month.

Don’t forget to use #ProductMonthChallenge and tag us @ProductSchool so we can show your intentions some love. 💙

Day 2: Write about where you want to be in 10 years time

In a notebook, or a notes app, write out where you envision yourself being in 10 years time. Try to envision the absolute best version of your life. You can be as detailed or as vague as you like. If you’re stuck, try these easy prompts:

  1. What will I have achieved in 10 years time?
  2. What do I want financially?
  3. What qualifications will I have gained?
  4. Where will I be living?
  5. What company/industry will I work in?
  6. What will my personal relationships be like?

Day 3: Take the Ultimate Product Trivia Quiz

Smart learning means understanding where your knowledge gaps are. Luckily, there’s a quiz for that!

It’ll take you 15-25 minutes to complete, and we recommend making a note of any answers you get wrong. These are great starting points for new areas of learning. Maybe you’ll discover that you need to read up about product frameworks, or that you need to do a deep dive into data analytics.

Day 4: Try out a new product template

Product management is dense. Every day there’s a new way to do things, or a new method to try. Sometimes it feels like you’re having to improvise and find things out for yourself thinking “if only I had a map!”

Today, your task is to think of something you want to do better, or think that you could do more efficiently, and try out a new way of doing it. That could mean applying a new prioritization method to your feature backlog, or working on your user flow skills.

If you need to know where to start, check out these product templates.

Days 5-7: Read a new PM book

Your first weekend of the challenge! You’ve got three whole days ahead of you, use them wisely.

This weekend, you’re going to pick up a book and spend some time with it. You can do this with your morning coffee, over lunch, or tucked up in bed at night, we’ll leave that up to you.

If you already have a product management book sitting on your shelf that you’ve been meaning to read, that’s a great place to start. Or here are our recommendations for your next new read.

#ProductMonthChallenge Week Two

Day 8: Write out your mission statement as a product manager

You know what the ‘why’ is for your product, or for the products you hope to build someday. But what drives you as a product manager?

In your notebook, or notes app, write down why you wanted to become a product manager in the first place. If you’ve been in the industry for years, has that changed? How has it changed?

Let this exercise in self-awareness help to inform your decisions as you progress in your career.

Day 9: Spend 20 minutes learning a new skill

If there’s a new skill you’ve been wanting to learn, spend 20 minutes diving into it. Maybe you work closely with a company/team based in Sweden and fancy learning a bit of Swedish. Or perhaps your marketing skills aren’t where they could be, and you want to learn more about how social media helps growth.

20 minutes doesn’t sound like much, but it’ll show you how manageable 20 minutes of learning can be. This is the first step towards building sustainable learning habits. If you’re truly dedicated and ready to dive into a course, check out our recommendations.

(PS, don’t forget to share what you’re learning on social media! Use the hashtag #ProductMonthChallenge and tag us @ProductSchool to share with your fellow challenge-takers!)

Day 10: Sign up for a webinar

Webinars provide you with free, bite-sized chunks of learning from some of the greatest minds in the product world. They’re the next best thing to having the Director of Product at Disney, or a Head of Product at Google as a best friend.

We have new events every day, so choose a topic you’re interested in or a company you love, and RSVP for your free ticket. (Don’t forget to actually attend! And bring a notebook to jot down all of the great insights you’ll receive.)

Check out the events here.

Day 11: Watch a talk on something that interests you

On our YouTube channel, we have thousands of hours of talks from some of the best and brightest that the product world has to offer. If it’s worth learning about, they’ve talked about it.

Find a topic you already know a fair bit about, or are at least familiar with, and expand your knowledge. It’s easy to get comfortable with the topics we already know about and stop trying to get better. But there’s always room for improvement.

Not sure where to start? Check out our highlights from 2020.

Days 12-14: Try ‘active rest’

Nearly halfway done! This weekend, take a break.

Not a ‘scroll my phone while Netflix plays in the background’ break. Do you ever find yourself doing that for hours on end without actually feeling rested?

So this weekend, do something that you find genuinely relaxing, however you can. Talk your dogs for a nice long walk, run a bath, take your family our for a picnic, meditate, have a nap…whatever will make you feel good and put you in a positive headspace.

Rest is just as important for professionals as work. You can’t give 100% of yourself if you’re only running on half a tank. Be good to your body, and your body will be good to you.

#ProductMonthChallenge Week Three

Day 15: How would you improve your favorite product?

Time to think outside of the box a little bit! Find a product you love and explain how you would improve it. If you’re strapped for time, you need only write a short paragraph. If you’ve got plenty of time, you could even try building some mockups and write about how you’d approach the user research phase.

This mental exercise is a great one to practice for aspiring/new PMs, as it’s often used as an interview question.

But even for veteran PMs, it’s easy to get stuck when you’ve been working on the same kinds of products for years. Challenge yourself to find a product unlike anything you’ve worked on before, and explain how you would improve it. It’ll help to open up your mind and get out of your comfort zone.

Day 16: Shoutout a product leader

On social media, post a shoutout to someone you really admire. They could be someone big, like Sheryl Sandberg or Bill Gates. Or they could be a #ProductCon speaker whose talk you really enjoyed. Perhaps they’re the author of your favorite product management book.

Think about who has made an impact on you, and let the community know why.

(PS, if you’re using Instagram, you’ll find a story template available in the #ProductMonthChallenge highlight.)

Day 17: Watch a talk by your favorite company

You’re familiar with our library of product talks by now. Shake things up by watching a talk from someone at a company you really admire.

If you’re brand new to PM, watch a talk by a company that you’d love to work in one day. It’ll help to familiarize you with how product is approached by that company.

For established PMs, maybe try watching a talk by one of your competitors, or by a giant in the same space as you. It’s a great way to learn their secrets!

Day 18: Try a new tool you’ve never used before

Let’s face it, tech people love tools! Research has shown that even companies with less that 100 employees can use up to 200 different SaaS tools!

Today, spend a little time either training yourself on a tool that you use, but not very often and not very well, or a brand new tool you’ve never touched before.

For example if you know your team uses an online whiteboard to run collaboration sessions, but you’ve barely used it, have a play around and see what you can make. Or if you’re a newbie to data analytics, find a tool with a free trial and go through their onboarding process to understand how its done.

If you can’t think of which tool you’d like to try, find one over in Productverse.

Days 19-21: Spend some time away from screens

We all love tech here, but even those of us who love it need to get away from it sometimes.

Give yourself a digital detox this weekend. Set out a block of time where you’ll be completely screen-free. Not even ‘I’ll just check my emails quickly.’ If you have a smart watch, take it off!

It’s up to you how to spend this time. It might involve playing with your kids/pets, exercising, doing something creative, playing a board game, cooking…whatever takes your fancy.

Make a note of what times you’ll be digital detoxing to keep yourself accountable. Something like 11am-4pm on Sunday.

After it’s done, reflect on how that made you feel. Did the world crash and burn because you left your phone at home? Probably not right?

If you break the digital detox, write down what drew you back to the screen, and why. Was it really that important?

#ProductMonthChallenge Week Four

Day 22: Watch a talk on something new to you

There’s bound to be something you know absolutely nothing about. It could be something that’s always hot topic, like growth hacking or it could be something more of-the-moment, like how to lead in a time of crisis.

Now is the time to level up with something you’ve never learning about before. Check out our YouTube channel to get started.

Day 23: Share an insight you’ve learned

Think of the main takeaway from your journey so far. What snippet of information will stick with you once the challenge is over?

Is there something you wish you’d learned years ago, or something you want absolutely every PM to know? Share it on social media using the hashtag #ProductMonthChallenge to share it with your fellow challenge-takers!

Day 24: Listen to a new podcast

All of this reading and watching and writing can be pretty tiring after a while. So take a break with a great podcast!

Naturally, we’re going to recommend The Product Podcast. But if you’re all caught up on that, we have plenty more recommendations for you! Check them out here.

Day 25: Sign up for the next big event

Webinars are all well and good, but there are a few events that come along to really shake things up. (We should know, we run them!)

As we near the end of our 30 days together, grab your ticket for the next big event! For those of you joining us in April 2021, that’s The Product Career Fair! It’s happening on April 29th, and you’ll get the chance to meet and network with hiring managers from the world’s leading technology companies.

If you already have a job, or you’re not looking to hire anyone right now, grab your ticket for the next #ProductCon, where you’ll get great PM advice straight from leaders in the product world.

Days 26-28: Write an article/blog post

After almost a month of dedicated product growth and learning, you’re bound to have a few thoughts whirling around your head! Put them together in a blog post!

Maybe there’s something you’ve been itching to write for a while. Now is the time!

If you’re stuck for ideas, try writing about a time you failed and what you learned from it. Or about your journey into product management. Or about anything you’re particularly knowledgable about.

You don’t have to publish it anywhere, it can stay in a deep dark corner of your hard drive for your eyes only. But if you are interested in publishing it, check out our handy tips.

#ProductMonthChallenge The Finish Line

Day 29: Meet a teammate for a coffee

Sometimes we can be so busy working on ourselves, that we forget to look outward at the people around us. Product is a team sport, and putting in the work to strengthening your relationships will come back to you tenfold.

If getting together in person isn’t possible, then take a virtual coffee break together. If you’re in a leadership position, suggest a team meeting to just catch up and shoot the breeze. (Better make it optional though, nobody like obligatory organized fun!)

Day 30: Reflect on your 30 days

It’s here! The final day!

Retrospectives are nothing new for product people, so all you have to do now is reflect on your 30 days. You can do this however you like, on Twitter, LinkedIn, blog post, or go old school in a notebook.

Think about what your original expectations of this 30 days. How does Day 30 compare to Day 1? What are your main takeaways? And looking towards the future, what do you hope to learn/do next?

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