“He who every morning plans the transactions of that day and follows that plan carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life.” ― Victor Hugo
Time is one resource which we do not have control over.
It passes whether we like it or not.
Hence, it is important to understand that time management really refers to making the most of the time we do have.
It is the process of planning and organizing how to divide time between specific activities, and how to work smarter, not just harder.
For busy project managers, who have to constantly juggle between different tasks and manage multiple projects, it is doubly important to manage time in a way to get more done in less time, even with tight deadlines and mounting pressure.
Failure to manage time effectively can lead to project delays, which translates into time and cost overruns – a nightmare for every project manager alive.
We have rounded up six time management tips, which can be very useful for busy project managers.
1 –Implement Resource Planning Software in Your Organisation
As a project manager, it is important to enable your team to work smart and provide them tools which they can use for working efficiently.
Many project tools can be found in single project and resource planning software such as timesheets, which can help you to manage time more efficiently.
By providing your team access to such tools, you are essentially empowering them to do their best while adhering to tough work schedules.
With a project and resource planning software, you can save time by having online timesheets which offer an easy to use portal for team members to fill in their hours and update status of assigned tasks.
This saves considerable time as it provides project managers an updated view of the project’s progress.
2 –Use and Share Gantt Charts
Gantt charts are not tools to only manage project schedules – they can also be used to ensure transparency for added productivity and efficiency. The majority of resource planning software offers
The majority of resource planning software offers in-built Gantt charts which can be used to add task files, notes, and updates for easy collaboration.
This saves considerable time and effort as project managers, and team members can see overall progress of the project and how their work is closely linked with others.
Additionally, Gantt charts offer features such as Work Breakdown Structure, milestones and multi-project view which are very useful for tracking project progress and managing time effectively.
3 – Utilise Mobile Apps
As modern tools of the trade, mobile apps can help save considerable time and effort for both project managers and team members.
They can be used to track and update work schedules and timesheets from anywhere and at any time.
Mobile apps sync automatically, enabling managers to view updated progress for each activity. This is particularly useful for project managers who have to manage multiple projects across different locations.
4 – Prioritise Tasks
While a project is made up of different tasks, not all are created equal or have the same importance.
For example, some tasks can be time-sensitive while others are dependent on different activities.
Hence, in order to manage a project efficiently it is important to prioritize each task by letting your team know where they should focus their efforts first.
This can help busy project managers avoid wasting time by having team members focus on tasks according to their importance and deadline.
Tools such as iCalendar which can be found in resource planning software can be particularly useful in this – busy project managers can simply set reminders for pending work and upcoming deadlines and prioritize tasks accordingly.
5 –Continuous Collaboration with Your Team
The trademark of a strong leader and project manager is the ability to collaborate with your team.
This can be done through establishing an open dialogue with the team and help build employee loyalty.
Teamwork, if done right, can help yield good ideas and allow each member of a team to work in collaboration with one another.
Additionally, having a good relationship with team members can help employees deal with tight deadlines and other issues in an efficient manner.
If you are rushed for time, you can delegate tasks to colleagues and feel confident in their ability to compete it to the same standard that you would have.
Without effective communication, you may not feel that you can entrust such tasks to anyone but yourself.
6 –Assigning Project Resources Effectively
A good manager knows his or her team well.
This includes understanding their workload and time management skills and assigning work accordingly.
When resources are assigned appropriately, there are lesser chances of them missing deadlines and becoming demotivated.
Poor resource allocation can lead to missed milestones, time and cost overruns and increased risk of project failure.
To avoid these problems, resource planning software offers resource utilization tools which can be used to analyze productivity and identify staffing issues.
7 – Change Your Working Hours
Each person is different and more or less productive at different times in the day.
This can prove to be a problem, especially as the majority of people work the same hours on the same days of the week: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday.
Working block shifts day in and day out can be a killer for productivity as our brains only stay focussed for up to 2 hours.
If you spend hours at your desk trying to complete multiple tasks and fail to take breaks, you’ll never get anything done on time or to a good enough standard.
If you’re struggling to manage your time effectively, it may be because you aren’t utilizing your most productive hours.
If you typically get most of your work done first thing, try getting into the office a bit earlier and get as much as you can in the first 90 minutes and after that, take a 15-minute break.
Create a plan for the day and decide when you’re going to do which tasks.
If you know one task will require more attention, ensure you get it done when you’re feeling most productive.
Take short breaks throughout the day so that your brain isn’t trying to focus on one thing for continuous hours.
Being a project manager can be tough, but you shouldn’t make life even harder by failing to manage your time correctly.
If you want to get back on track, try taking on the above 7 tips.