5 Time Management Tips to Start Practicing Today
In project management, there never seems to be enough time to get everything finished. Upper-level management wants detailed analyses on the project’s budget and progress, employees have concerns about assigned activities, and members of the project management team are awaiting your instructions.
Your responsibilities as a project manager can be extensive and draining, but all of your skills lack value if you do not have a strong set of time management skills. Fortunately, you can start practicing five time management tips today.
1. Start the Day With a Time Management Plan
Each day is a new beginning in your career, regardless of how long you’ve been working on your current project. As the project manager, you need to have a plan for what needs to be accomplished each day. Rather than trying to go back and figure out if you missed anything, you should create a “to-do” list when you get to work.
This is a simple time management plan for the day, and it should be a physical copy, not stored on the computer. Furthermore, actually scratching off each item as it’s completed helps to build your sense of accomplishment.
2. Don’t Try to Keep Track of Everything
Project managers have a tendency to take on more responsibilities than necessary, but taking on excess responsibility is practically the job description of a project manager.
However, the project manager needs to understand when to assign responsibilities to other members in the project management team. By relaying these responsibilities, the project manager can ensure the day’s activities continue as closely as possible to the original time management plan.
3. Plan to Be Interrupted
Effective time management does not mean every second will be perfect, nor does it imply interruptions will be avoidable. However, effective time management does mean planning for interruptions.
Trying to avoid interruptions will only lead to problems and difficulty in managing time in the future. Allocating extra time for interruptions will also help keep today’s activities on track to be finished by the end of the day.
4. Work on an Appointment Schedule, If Possible
An appointment schedule is essentially a large-scale time management plan. Project managers should try to keep an appointment log, which is also a great resource for taking notes on the day’s events. Obviously, keeping all meetings and plans on the schedule exactly as planned would be impractical.
However, project managers should at least keep an appointment log to try to maintain a schedule and organization as the day progresses.
5. Practice Eliminating Distractions
Distractions are the materialization of procrastination, and procrastination is the enemy of effective time management. Eliminating distractions is critical to improving time management, and project managers should practice eliminating distractions. This may be achieved by closing non-business email programs and shutting off non-essential devices when at work. For example, the personal smartphone should not be on unless it’s being used in lieu of a business-owned smartphone.
Strong time management skills are fundamental in project management. By practicing these five tips today, you can build your time management skills, which will ultimately improve your efficiency and productivity as a project manager.
Key Time Management Tips to Start Using NOW.
- Spend 15 minutes at the start of the day to plan the day’s activities.
- Assign responsibilities as needed.
- Always plan for interruptions in your plans.
- Use an appointment schedule to help keep track of your responsibilities on a larger scale.
- Practice eliminating distractions, such as shutting down the smartphone and closing extra tabs in your browser.