As a project manager, how your team spends their time is what ultimately either makes or costs your employer money. And, at the end of the day, those numbers are often used as a measure of your success. Not only can poor time management strategies be detrimental to your clientele and daily business practices, but it can have a negative impact on your bottom line. From having a clear goal to keeping distractions to a minimum, here are some tips on how to best protect your team’s time and avoid any unnecessary pitfalls.
Have A Clear Goal
The first thing you and your team should do at the start of each day is decide what the most important goals are for that day, how you’re going to achieve them and what must be accomplished at a bare minimum. Doing this before you or anyone on your team responds to any help tickets or internal questions is a great way to maintain focus on the task at hand while encouraging positive morale. In addition to having clear goals, formulating a task list that reflects the most important activities you and your team need to accomplish is key. This list should be dynamic, and should change in accordance with the needs of your business.
If you aren’t sure which activities will have the biggest impact on your project, now is a good time to find out. Rather than waste time dealing with the smaller problems, take care of the bigger issues that you know will immediately require more of your time. This will help you and your team save energy throughout the day, leaving you with smaller tasks that are more easily accomplished to take care of at the end of the day when fatigue creeps in.
Multitasking Can Be Detrimental
Too many distractions mean a lot of wasted time and money. Even science agrees that the human brain can only truly focus on one task at a time; therefore, the perception that we can multitask is really nothing more than an illusion. For this reason, it’s important to limit multitasking as much as possible. To do so, organize your day in such a way where certain tasks are designated to particular blocks of time. This also applies to planning and data entry. If you’re trying to be conscious of how frequently you multitask, write down every time you catch yourself doing it and make it a point to meditate for a minute. Taking a breath will help you approach your task list with a fresh mind and renewed vigor.
Keep the Interruptions to A Minimum
The more you forgo interruptions, the more time you will have to focus on efficiently completing necessary tasks. One great method of ensuring you are not consistently interrupted is to pace yourself when organizing your tasks, and to refrain from answering emails or phone calls when you’re working on something that doesn’t involve either of those things. Accomplishing tasks with this single-minded workflow will help you get them done faster and more effectively.
Invest in Time Management Software
As you probably already know, time management is essential to staying on task. As far as time management strategies go, one of the most effective ways to ensure that your team is staying on task is by investing in project management time tracking software. Clarizen recognizes this importance and has implemented several effective approaches into their time tracking software, including the ability to create invoices, export time sheets and coordinate billable hours with the right billing rates.