5 Ways to Managing Your Time – Some Ideas

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a few more hours in your day? Many project managers would love it! Sometimes it feels like you can’t get everything done. What you need to do is manage your time better. Here are some suggestions:

5 Ways To Manage Your Time

You’ll get more done in less time!

#1. Timesheets
Think about where your time is going. Do you really know what you work during the day? Are you tracking how you use your time? Timesheets can show you exactly how much time you spend on many activities such as creating reports or responding to emails. There’s the 15 minute break to check Facebook that turns into 30-45 minutes…

Tracking your time lets you know where you’ve been and where it’s going. This will help you to better prioritize your time and make you more conscious when it comes to managing your time.

#2. Task lists
Get yourself going in the morning by organizing what your priorities should be the day before. Organizing task lists helps this. A clear list will tell you precisely what you need to be working on as soon as you walk in the office. If you add in a column for dates it will also tell you what needs to be completed by when, which is a huge help when it comes to scheduling the top priority tasks first.

The task list feature can be organized using many of the different apps available today on a smart phone. On my iPhone I use the reminders feature, calendar, and an app called SuperNote. What is nice about these is I can dictate by voice the task information right away and not have to try to remember details I didn’t write down. I make it a point not to try to commit everything to memory.

#3. Milestones
Milestones are a good way to manage your time as they put focus on the an intermediate goal. Putting milestones on your project plan forces you to review them regularly with your team. You can be sure to align an upcoming deadline with the milestone objective to a date on your task list.

Most milestones relate to project tasks but you can also create personal milestones on the apps discussed in item #2 to remind you about scheduled dates for other tasks on your task list.

#4. Automation
As Project Managers preparing reports is one of the tasks that takes the most time in any project. Getting status updates from team members, organizing the data, checking it, formatting it, reviewing statistics, then checking it again and sending it to the stakeholders. It never seems to end.

Automation of the information inflow can help to make these tasks easier. Set up your report templates to pull data from MS Project (or whatever PM software you’re using) so it shows the status in real-time. Automate in the beginning make for one less job for you to do.

#5. Saying no!
Just say no. You cannot do everything and a good PM knows how to delegate. And you don’t have to do everything. Many times you can’t take on more work. And if a stakeholder is insistent, ask your the project sponsor what they want you to drop. What top priority items should be moved to the bottom of the priority list?”

It isn’t possible to get everything done, especially if it’s out-of-scope items. Negotiate priorities with your stakeholders so that your projects aren’t overloaded, they’ll appreciate that you’re being realistic about what can be done in the time available.

Try these 5 tips for managing your time, you’ll be pleased to see how many extra hours you can find in a day. You’ll also be pleased with how much stress you have let go because you’ll be better organized to get tasks done in a timely manner.

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Author: Rich Garling

Successful results-driven experience in IT program/project management, focusing on collaborating with multiple businesses and IT workstreams to define detailed business process requirements into workable enterprise software solutions for retail, finance, pharmaceutical, and inventory processes. A successful proven track record in leading cross-functional international teams of project managers while managing expectations and delivering projects of greater than $10M within stakeholder expectations. Provided an in-depth knowledge of SDLC using Agile and Waterfall project management methodologies (Scrum Master (SMC)), MS IT Management/Project Management (AMU)), and a talent for developing business requirements delivering workable technology solutions. Rich holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Northern Illinois University and a Master of Science in Information Technology/Project Management from American Military University. He is currently a Project Manager III for Bradford Hammacher Group in Niles, IL/