Would you like a few more hours in each day? Every one of us would! If it feels as if you can’t get everything done, then you need to manage your time better. Why not try these…
You’ll get more done in less time!
First, think about where your time is going. Do you really know what you work on all day? Timesheets will show you exactly how much time you spend pulling together reports or responding to emails. Then there’s the 5 minute break to check Facebook that turns into 20 minutes…Start tracking your time so you know where it’s going. This will help you prioritize and ensure you are self-aware when it comes to managing your time.
- Task lists
Many people get off to a slow start in the mornings because they are wondering what their priorities should be and thinking about what they should be doing. Task lists resolve this. A clear list will tell you exactly what you need to work on. 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.
Milestones are a good way to manage your time as they focus the mind! Put some milestones on your project plan and review them regularly. As you are coming up to the deadline, make sure that all your work is aligned with the objective of getting it done and hitting that date.Most milestones relate to project tasks but you can also create personal milestones on your calendar to remind you about scheduled dates for other tasks on your task list.
Project managers tell us that preparing reports is one of the things that takes the most time each month. There’s getting status updates from team members, preparing the data, checking it, formatting it, reviewing statistics from other systems, then checking it again and sending it to the stakeholders. It takes forever! Automate your reporting (and anything else) as much as you can. Set up templates that pull data from your project management software and show you status in real-time. Everything that is automated is one less job for you to do.
- Saying no!
Finally, say no! You don’t have to do everything that is asked of you, and sometimes you simply can’t take on more work. If you don’t feel that you can say no to a request, ask your manager or project sponsor what they want you to drop. “I’m working on X, Y and Z right now. Which of those should I move to the bottom of the priority list so I can take on A and B as well?” If it isn’t feasible or reasonable to get everything done, then negotiate priorities with your stakeholders so that you aren’t overloaded and they appreciate what can realistically be done in the time available.