It can be challenging to manage time on projects for multiple reasons. There are many different people working simultaneously on a variety of activities at any given time during a project and there are any number of reasons why one or more of them might make demands on you. Under these conditions it is easy to lose control of your time during the day only to end up working evenings and weekends just to get work done.
Here are four tips for how to get control of your time back:
Tip #1 Purge clutter
If you have piles of papers on your desk, or folders on your desktop, of documents that are a combination of relevant and irrelevant, you may find yourself spending time looking at ones that you don’t really need to deal with. This could be due to the fact that they are from old tasks that are no longer a priority. To help manage your time more effectively it helps to take the time to purge your work space of those documents that you don’t need to deal with.
Tip #2 Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries with others is probably the most important thing you can do to manage your time. From that person who is always dropping by your office to just talk to you endlessly, to issues that are tossed in your lap at the last minute by someone who really should be working on it themselves. Taking the time to set boundaries with others will help set up good habits for how people treat your time.
Tip #3 Block out working time
Block out time on your calendar for getting your work done. This will make sure that you have the time you need to complete your work. It also helps prevent you from becoming overbooked either from your own efforts or those of others.
Tip #4 Block out non-working time
Jennifer Whitt in a webinar from www.projectmanager.com on the topic, “How to Track your Projects” suggests this one and the concept is really insightful. She said that she often blocks out some time in the morning for things like working out, meditating and planning. These activities make sure that she is taking care of herself and allows her to set her focus for the day.
If you’d like some more tips on time management I’d recommend watching the hour long webinar mentioned in tip #4.
How about you? What are some tips that you use for managing your time?