Time is Money
Everyone at some point in time has wished there were more hours in the day. After all, a healthy person should get eight hours of sleep per night. And for the clear majority of us, we have a commute to work, families, and personal time which leaves us the good 8-10 hours to perform our professional responsibilities. And with time (or schedule) being one of three major constraints in project management, you and your teams personal time should be monitored just as closely as their professional time.
But what if we had a few hacks to incorporate daily that can “stretch” the clock a little further? Below ar six simple ideas to implement. The first one takes a lot of introspection!
1. Manage every second “while on the clock”:
A recent Harris Poll of workers found that 89% of workers admit to wasting time while supposed to be working. 62% self-admit o these time-wasters self-admit that they waste 30 minutes to an hour per day while 26% self-admit to wasting two hours or more per day. Bottom line- perform a self-audit and have your employees do the same. Find ways to remove distractions that are not business related.
2. Plan ahead and stick to it:
This goes hand-in-hand with the point above. First you must declutter your work-space. Believe it or not, this will help you plan more efficiently as you will not have distractors. Plan your interrupters in advance. This includes meetings, whether formal or informal. Schedule water-cooler talk into your lunch hour. And commit to a lunch hour daily to ensure you get a break from work and have time to socially interact or meditate or whatever you like to do.
Have you noticed the word “manager” in your title? Although what happens or fails to happen on your project is your responsibility, with proper resource management, you can delegate a lot of authority so long as the decisions made remain with the confines of the project management plan.
This will not only relieve some of your time trying to do everything (and you cannot do everything), but it will empower your subordinates, professionally develop them, and you avoid the dreaded micro-management environment which can stifle creativity and ideas. This is not to say you do not perform monitoring and controlling. But it is to say that your hand does not literally have to be in every facet of the project.
4. Leverage Technology:
While many project managers rely too heavily on technology (thus wasting time) some do not rely on the helpful technology at all. Certain simple tech hacks include calendar reminders and project management information systems. Imagine the time saved pulling former project data from a network drive verses sifting through a literal file room. Take a moment and think about technologies.
5. Use phone instead of long emails:
This one is easy but often overlooked. If an email is at a text message length or must be in writing (for a paper trail), then by all means email. But long overdrawn emails can be more efficiently communicated by voice. This includes getting up and walking ten feet to another cubicle or picking up the phone and building rapport at the same time.
6. Manage meetings efficiently:
This point could be an article all by itself. Meetings ran properly and on point can be powerful for status updates, new information, strategy sessions etc. But they must remain on point. Discussing the meeting agenda and rules of engagement up front will alleviate side-bar conversations and meetings taking longer than intended. Take charge of meetings and ensure topics stay on hand. If a topic takes on a life of its own, then may be a new meeting should be scheduled or the conversation be taken offline with only those it pertains to.
Guarding the time of your team and yourself is crucial to ensuring that you maximize the time constraints as allotted.
Also read “Characteristics of a Great Leader” here
Nathan J. Kerr, MS, PMP is the co-owner and founder of PMCertDC – Washington D.C.’s metro area premier project management boot camp provider. With our primary location in Tysons, Virginia, we hold classes throughout the Washington D.C. metro area and anywhere online.
We are a proud Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business with a huge impact on the project management world. Visit us at https://pmcertdc.com
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