Time management is the process of planning and handling the tasks with more control over the amount of time allocated to specific activities, this will increase the productivity and efficiency. It also allows us to accomplish more in a shorter time period in more productive manner. A lack of time management can damage project in the long run. Time is the main constraint and any deviation from the schedule will impact cost and scope of the project.
Team management is the first and foremost step to build the business. A project manager represents the team and the work. So, it’s important for the manager to know, meet and greet the team at least once in a day and to perform effective planning to manage the quality of work. A skillful manner of handling different projects and the work priorities the better the manager and so as the team. This helps the whole team work progressively in finishing the work on time with minimal budget.
Making sure if the team is on same schedule even if working offshore with proper communication, remote access, approved time zones and for many other reasons, for which manager will have no excuse to decide if he has all the management skills required. Manager will have to handle the iterations with provided number of tasks, sprint discussions to plan, manage and to know the team work progress, project touchpoint meetings every two days a week to get the estimations and plan progress.
Effective solution for managing both quality and time is performed by the WBS. WBS is the work break down structure, that helps the work fall into small pieces and takes care in completion of quality tasks. Quality and the time scheduling, are balanced well by work break down structure. If knowing and tackling the team itself becomes a complex job for any project manager, adding the quality to work places a vital and effective role in any organization. It is important for any project to maintain a WBS to view the quality of work in a more wider picture by managing schedules.
Time Management Strategies
Time management is all dependent on the work management solutions. Both work and time are interlinked to simplify the quality and to reach the goals.
If we try to do too many things at the same time, there are high chances of not completing either of them or doing them poorly because we will be diverted into multiple dimensions to perform those tasks. This may lead each task with a poor efficiency.
Agile methodology saves time. And not just agile but different helpful methodologies would fetch the need to build the quality work with appropriate strategy, planning and then the execution plan which improves the effectiveness of the enterprises.
Team communication is priority. Reacting, responding and action against any issues.
Everyone in team is responsible to know their own task priorities. It depends on Importance and urgency. Divide each task into multiple sub tasks and prioritize them as per below categories:
- Do it now
- Estimate next steps and draw some long-term goals.
- Finish less urgent tasks to avoid distractions
More the time, more the chances of wasting time. Short time, either won’t help. Deadlines are must and reminds more of a to do list. Instead of struggling to finish the task, it’s better to know the particular date and work accordingly.
We have to identity the high priority tasks and expedite them, also must estimate timelines precisely to finish them. There are multiple tools that currently organizations use to create effective schedules.
Add Buffer Times
We are humans and all we planned may not happen due to some unrealistic events in every project. The most common mistake anyone can make when creating a schedule for a project is to forget to add some buffer times for the tasks. The benefit of adding buffer time is it enables flexibility to entire team just in case something happens unexpectedly and change gears to some other priorities.
Delegating work will actually project how we value team members inputs. This will empower us to make better decisions and if required we can supervise them and this helps us to grow professionally as well
There will be certain situations you get additional task on a day which is already swapped with that day’s to-do list, so dare to call out “NO”. Don’t agree the deadlines that is beyond the reality, so keep priorities straight and simple.
This is most basic rule that organization’s follow for better results. This basically tells us that 80% of the results we get are driven from the 20% of our actions. As per this rule initial focus will be only on most important tasks (MIT’s) and accomplishing them in timely manner.
Reduce Waiting Time
More you stand by on a project is more you are wasting time on waiting in a project. If we are waiting on something instead of waiting ideal utilize that time in reading journals, articles or some forums that benefits the project.
Advantages of Time Management
- Work Breakdown
- Improved Productivity
- Better decision making
- Scope for new opportunities
On other side, there are some disadvantages of poor time management. The biggest disadvantage of poor time management is it will bump up stress levels at the workplace. This increases the levels of frustration with a feeling of working hard and with no quality and wasted time, portraying negatively to the people around. Some of the common effects with poor time management are:
Lack of Sleep
Over a period of time, staying late nights for finishing up the assigned tasks will cut the sleep time. Because of this the priority of sleep will go bottom of the list. This will result in sickness, low confidence and fatigue.
Lack of Punctuality
If we cannot manage time, this will make us look very less professional. This is one of the factor that helps people to judge a person. Consistently not on time will create a wrong impression by superiors and ultimately leading to stress and has a greater impact on one’s personal career.
Once a while rushing with tasks is fine but if this is constantly happening then it is only because of poor time management. Skilled professional will always have sufficient time between tasks to cope up with unexpected events.
Due to poor time management, you will tend to miss deadline, and this impacts on other people becomes too much to cope up. Productivity of work will be less efficient and backlogs keep growing. So, key for proper time management is what is important and how it can be done.
Not being Perfect
It’s okay to be not perfect all the time. Spending more time to perform each task perfectly either fail to start or it may go too slow. This can even damage relationship with others because of unrealistic demands. If we cannot make healthy working relationships, this leads to poor time management because everything can’t be done on own.
There will be lot of confusion when we have more than one option, and unable to choose an option. This takes more time going over all the options without coming to conclusion so when we clearly define goals the criteria will determine that most important task that can be done at that moment of time.
In conclusion, effective time management will always lead to success. By aligning proper time management, we can save time, more productivity, less interruptions, clear schedules, and efficient prioritization. As discussed planning is the key to map out the direction to the destination.