Blog Project Management Tips For The Project Manager On How To Manage Time

Tips For The Project Manager On How To Manage Time

It is said that Time = Money and Project Manager is not only responsible for his own time but also accountable for the resources under the Project assigned. A simple yet vital ingredient to success is to always know the real up-to-date priorities and work according to those. The occasional switch between two or more high-priority tasks is inevitable and also valuable — since this refreshes one’s wits, energy, and motivation. It is difficult to chase deadlines. Start keeping a time log of your activities. It allows complete transparency to your team, and they can see what you are actually getting accomplished.

Some key suggestions are:

  • Delegate the low level tracking to the Team Leads
  • Never get too deep into technical issues, leave it to the Technical Leads or Team Leads
  • Prioritize your action items to not more than 5 action items in a day
  • Track each project on a weekly basis

Setting up a governance model will help you think strategically and address issues, which are far more complex as well as significant than the technical issues.

Most of us try to “multi-task”. Don’t try to complete everything, stay focused on the task in front of you and “give it your best”. Go through Stephen Covey and his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. He created a graph with Urgency on the X-axis and Importance on the Y-axis. Plot your tasks on this graph and check where your task lie among one of four categories below:

  1.      important and urgent 
  2.      important and not urgent 
  3.      not important and urgent 
  4.      not important and not urgent 

 He concluded that people spend time doing (3) – these should be delegated; and (4) – these should just be dropped. This can be hard for some people, but it is important to do so that time is freed up to focus on (1) and (2).

Do not allow your mailbox, drive your day. It’s not lack of time but lack of priorities and your unwillingness to allow yourself to be human. The more time you spend clearing your inbox the higher the probability you are in reactive-mode.

Get project team members into the habit of calling rather than blasting emails to everyone which might be solved by other means. Plan your day and follow it and plan it from your prioritized list. There will be times when you have to firefight issues but that should be an exception rather than rule.
If you are dealing with firefights everyday then check your priority list again. The reason that you are overloaded may be you have poor time management or prioritizing skills. Compare your workload with your colleagues. If you are struggling to keep up with your workload then you will inevitably end up compromising on quality which will ultimately reflect badly on your capabilities.

Prioritizing the tasks and defining the types which you can easily delegate or skip on a certain point, is not always helpful. If you have some set deadlines and you fail to meet it, try to analyze what went wrong. This would help you to see the weaknesses of your planning, resulting in changing the load and start working on its improvement.

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