Time management plays a huge part in effective project management. Not only will you have to make time for the planned project activities, but there will be times when unexpected issues take up more of your time. These need to be planned for and integrated into your time management schedule along with your normal schedule. Below we will discuss time management tips and techniques that can be used to ensure that your projects stay on track and that your time is properly utilised.
Create a to do list
As a Project Manager, you will have many responsibilities and duties to perform and you will have to ensure that they are done in a timely and efficient manner by mastering time management. Structure your to do list by the date that a task needs to be completed by, or by task importance. This will ensure that you don’t overlook certain, less important tasks and will help you to meet deadlines and commitments.
Create clear plans
In many projects, time management goes awry when correcting miscommunication and confusion as to who is responsible for which task. This can easily be negated with a clear and concise time management plan that specifies when and by whom a certain task needs to be carried out by. Be sure to include regular due dates to ensure that the project runs on time and does not lag.
The team that is working on the project with you have been chosen to undertake their jobs for a reason. They know what they are doing and any interference will cost you time and money that could have been better spent focusing on your own work. Don’t focus too much on the details of your co-workers’ tasks as this is a responsibility that has been left to them. Do, however, ensure that, if a question or issue arises, that you are available to lend some clarity and iron out any queries.
If you need to schedule a meeting, make sure that you do not have it run for too long. Discussing trivial matters can cost valuable time, so discuss only the most important matters to keep the meeting as short as possible and to keep on top of your time management. If possible, schedule the meeting for the early morning, as time leading up to a meeting can often be wasted. Returning to work with the meeting information fresh on everyone’s minds can also boost productivity.
Don’t be afraid to delegate an important task to someone that has the skills and knowledge to carry it out effectively. This will make good use of their time and yours, as you will be able to get two or more important pieces of work done at the same time, instead of struggling through them by yourself and is considered to be good time management.
Don’t spend too much time pondering over a decision. Second guessing yourself can not only have disastrous effects on your project, but can lead to procrastination and, ultimately, costs valuable time that could have been spent on work after the decision had been made. This is poor time management. With experience, it will become easier to make quick decisions over less important matters, giving you time to think about the more important ones.
Don’t be a yes-man (or woman)
There will be times when you are simply too busy to help a fellow worker with an issue or task that they need to complete. Remember that the work that you have been assigned to do is equally important and reflects on your ability to deliver. Learn to say no when you need to and offer an explanation as to why you are unable to help at that moment. We have all been in that situation and, if explained properly, your co-workers will understand that it is a part of your time management.