Top 7 Time Management Tips for Better Project Management
When it comes to project management, you know your time is valuable. But when you have a busy schedule, it’s easy to lose track of your priorities throughout the day. So what can you do to increase your productivity by cutting down on wasted time? The most successful professionals use a variety of creative time management techniques, many of which can be easily implemented. Here are seven of the most effective time management techniques that you can try today:
1. Set aside small blocks of time for complete focus.
Instead of trying to tackle large tasks all at once and ultimately overwhelming yourself, set aside small blocks of time. Many people have success using the pomodoro technique. This simple strategy simply requires you to pick a task to accomplish, set a timer, and commit yourself to completely focusing on the task for 25 minutes. At the end of the 25 minutes you can take a break before starting again.
2. Create your mise en place.
If you haven’t heard the term before, mise en place is a French term that translates to, “put in place.” Typically used in cooking, it refers to the practice of setting up your work station before you begin to work. A great mise en place habit for the workplace is to spend a few minutes at the end of each day setting up your space so that you can finish the next day’s work as efficiently as possible. This can be as simple as making a list of the next day’s tasks and setting out files, paper, documents, contact information, or anything else that you’ll need.
3. Automate as much as you can.
You’re probably wasting time attending tasks that could be completed automatically. This could include finding easy-to-use apps for scheduling meetings, setting up automatic payments, setting up your email inbox to automatically sort your messages, and pre-scheduling social media posts. An alternative to automating tasks is to either outsource or delegate time-consuming tasks that someone else could complete just as well.
4. Schedule your distractions.
Do you check your email throughout the day? Not only is this a time-consuming habit, but it also disrupts your concentration. Designate specific times throughout the day to check your email, phone messages, and other notifications.
5. Don’t attend to every demand for your attention.
Similar to not checking your email throughout the day, it’s important to avoid immediately addressing every new notification that you receive. When you stop what you’re doing to check your phone or email, you’re giving up control of your time.
6. Set boundaries to prevent interruptions.
Yours skills are in demand and other people will continue to ask for your time as long as you let them. When you need to focus it’s completely acceptable to silence your phone, turn off your phone, and close your office door. You can also schedule regular “focus times,” when you inform your coworkers that you’ll be unavailable except for emergencies.
7. Remember to schedule breaks.
This probably sounds counterintuitive, but you waste time when you’re tired. It’s much easier to stay completely focused when you know that you’ll be able to take breaks throughout the day. Otherwise, if you push yourself too hard, you’ll most likely end up distracting yourself with micro-breaks throughout the day. This is disruptive and not as restorative as simply scheduling time off throughout the day.
Try implementing the techniques above to see which ones work best for you. Make sure to keep experimenting with your time management until you find a system that helps you meet your top priorities. You’ll feel better knowing that you’ve found a way to put every hour of the day to its best use.
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