Essential Time Management Techniques for project managers
Struggling with time management? Read further to learn all the best time management techniques, tips and tools with Allegra Task Management.
What is Time Management
Project time management directly impacts the quality, scope, and cost of a project, making it one of the most important project management knowledge areas. Managing time helps to secure project completion time and budget.
Time management is the coordination of tasks and activities to maximize the effectiveness of an individual’s efforts. Essentially, the purpose of time management is enabling people to get more and better work done in less time.
Time management skills are critical for success. Learning how to manage your time effectively will help you get more done every work day, increase efficiency, and ultimately increase your value to your company.
Why is it important to practice time management techniques
More opportunities and career growth. Being punctual with your work will not only increase your effectiveness but will also help you earn a good reputation at work. When managers and seniors know that you always complete your tasks on time, it could lead the way for more promotional opportunities at work.
Time management produces plenty of amazing benefits both for individuals and teams. Some of the main ones include:
- Higher productivity thanks to more efficient work organization, a stronger focus on most important tasks and optimal use of your energy levels;
- Lower stress since you’ll get a chance to better your work-life balance and learn how to avoid any rush with smartly created schedules and plans;
- Enhanced quality of work because it’s easier to prevent mistakes and pay attention to details when you don’t have to be always in a hurry;
- Enhanced forecasting due to regular engagement in task estimation, which will add another crucial item to your professional skill set and maximize chances for success in all your undertakings;
- Stronger sense of self ability since when you never miss a deadline and achieve goals infallibly, you start to feel more confident and accomplished.
Tips to develop your time management techniques and skills
Establish your SMART goals
The SMART frame is very useful to set up goals that you can actually reach. SMART goals are:
Specific – What exactly do you want to accomplish?
Measurable – How will you know how well you accomplished your goal?
Achievable – Is your goal attainable?
Realistic – Can you realistically achieve your goal?
anchored within a Time Frame – When do you want to reach your goal?
Eisenhower 4 Ds of time management
The 4 Ds are: Do, Defer (Delay), Delegate, and Delete (Drop). Placing a task or project into one of these categories helps you manage your limited time more effectively and stay focused on what matters most to you.
Build a Priority Matrix
The time management matrix, also known as the Eisenhower matrix, is a method that aims to improve how you prioritize tasks.
- Determine segmentation required to categorically prioritize work.
- Identify the categories of work.
- Map the categories of work to each cell of the matrix.
- Test out the priority matrix (“run water through the pipes”).
- Finalize and align with leadership.
- Enjoy some self-reflection.
- Start small.
- Set them early.
- Be consistent.
- Create a framework.
Centralize business operations
- Centralization refers to the process in which activities involving planning and decision-making within an organization. …
- When an organization follows a centralized management structure, it can focus on the fulfillment of its vision with ease.
Specifically, we suggest asking: “Does the proposed initiative add 10 percent to the market capitalization or profits of the corporation?” This hurdle is sufficiently high to make it difficult for advocates of centralization to “game” the analysis, and thus saves the top team’s time by quickly eliminating small opportunities from discussion. Start by considering whether the activity meets the 10 percent hurdle on its own.
The Priority Matrix
The Project Priority Matrix is a structured approach to working on what matters most for the project’s’ stakeholders. It also identifies their relative importance by providing a means for ranking projects (or project requests) based on criteria that are determined to be important.
The top time management techniques tools
Scoro is a cloud-based professional services solution for small to midsize companies in advertising, consulting, IT and other industries. The solution provides a control hub that displays pending tasks, account information, key performance indicators (KPIs), calendar events and more on a single screen.
ActiveCollab is a project management solution for creative professionals. It offers cloud-based subscription plans or a self-hosting license. Projects are split into tasks and subtasks. Tasks can be filtered by due date, assigned users or custom labels.
ProofHub is an online project management app that helps teams organize and track the status of projects, and collaborate while they’re at it.You can track multiple projects, create dependencies among tasks in a Gantt chart view, and get time estimates from your team members.
Clarizen provides the ability to share views, such as roadmaps, module views, project views, and reports and dashboards. Clarizen offers good cross-project visibility as well as roll-up reports. It also offers tools for resource management and financial management.
Harvest is a cloud-based time tracking tool designed for businesses of all sizes. The solution provides timesheet and invoicing features for small businesses and freelancers. Key features include time and expense management, team management, project management, scheduling and invoicing.
Don’t make this mistake to focus on personal developmental goals:
Add your priorities to your calendar first
Determine your key priorities and events ( both personal and professional) and add them to your calendar as far in advance as possible (ideally 1-2 months in advance).
But the challenge isn’t just one of efficiency—getting more done in less time. It’s really about designing a day, week or month where you’re focusing on the right things. Making the latter mental shift is how we fundamentally transform our effectiveness in the workplace and beyond.
Time management is one of the keys to superior work outcomes, time management techniques encourage professional growth, more fulfilled and happy life. This practice helps to navigate the chaos of present-day life with ease, though you still have to invest some dedication to understand how time management works and how to implement it properly.
For more information on project management tips refer to our allegra blog posts and reach out to an Allegra consultant for software tools that will help you manage your time and tasks.