Managing a team of any size is a challenging task and requires lots of hard work and dedication in doing so. You have to overcome a lot of difficulties and challenges in doing so. And the main problem that we face is time management. Whether you are moving forward with your work or not, time is always moving forward and it waits for no one.
This creates a deviation in the plan and which ultimately results in delayed delivery of the work or project, which is really bad for you and the client.
The thing with time is that it flies, and we humans as humans are only habitual to running. Due to all the distractions, we are now not even running, we are just walking and by this, we cannot cope up with the speed by which the time passes.
Time Management is a skill that takes time and experience to develop, we make mistakes like setting vague goals, failing to explain the project properly to the team, not being able to prepare the team properly, etc.
Here are some tips that you can use to increase your time management skills and the productivity of your team:
- Allocate hours:
Remember how we used to make a schedule for our whole day when we were at school. The schedule would contain all the tasks that we were supposed to do and the duration for doing them too.
Likewise, make a schedule on how much time should be spent on a particular task or a project. You can use Task Management Software or Project Management software to allocate the hours easily and this is where you will understand the importance of Project Management software for Time management as well.
In fact, 10-20 minutes invested in planning your day will save at least 2 hours of wasted time and effort throughout the day. Thus, the time utilized in planning and allocating the hours is just an investment with a really high return rate.
If the tasks and projects pile up on your’s or any team member’s desk, never try to deal with them by yourself. Delegation is a key skill of time management. The tasks require a certain amount of time to be completed and when you have too much on the plate, it is quite natural that you will spill some out,i.e, some tasks will get left behind. Rather than this, you can simply transfer them to someone else’s plate.
If you think someone else can do some task better or more efficiently, you should delegate the task to them. This saves your time and also provides you with time to do other tasks.
Good communication helps create a friendly and supportive atmosphere in the organization.
Communication is the key to avoid vague goals by clearly communicating your goals and expectations. Vague goals can lead to wastage of time and this can be avoided by communication.
A full Project analysis should be given to the members to clarify what their role is and what is expected from them.
Each day, 10% of employees are absent in call centres; 34% say that they are sick because they don’t feel appreciated.
A person’s morale and confidence are boosted when they feel appreciated and this has a deep impact on their performance too. The best way to make your staff know that you appreciate them is by rewarding them.
Incentives and bonuses are the best way of rewarding, as a glimpse of green is always the best motivation. You can also reward them with a free meal at the best restaurant in town or with movie tickets.
The key here is to let them know that they are appreciated, this makes them feel happy and they are now more willing to work. This boosts their productivity and ultimately saves time.
- Prioritize work:
Many unimportant and small tasks eat up a lot of our time and this leads to no or less time for the important ones.
We are at the peak of our working capacity in the morning. And as we keep on working, we start to get tired and our working capacity decreases accordingly. Thus the difficult one and the important tasks should be done the first thing as our work starts.
- Avoid Procrastination:
Procrastination refers to delaying or postponing something. Now unless and until the thing that you are delaying is a waste of time, there is no need that you should delay or postpone that.
We also tend to procrastinate when we are busy doing unproductive tasks. The average employee spends 2 hours per day recovering from distractions. Procrastination affects the productivity of the team badly. Thus, procrastination should be avoided at any cost. Moreover, distractions just cause a waste of time. Consider time as money, so will you ever waste your money? NO!
- Avoid Multitasking:
If you still believe in Santa Claus then and only then would you believe that multitasking can save your time. Otherwise, it’s just a myth and is more likely to waste your time.
We focus and work better if we are doing a single task at a time. If you are trying to multitask then actually you are doing none of the tasks and you are just shifting your focus from one task to another and ultimately wasting your time.
We can give our 100% to a task, only when we are doing just one task at a time. Example: If you are a manager then you cannot do Client Management and Project Management at the same time. Do only the first or the other, or you wouldn’t be able to do any of the two properly.
- Include the team at the planning stage:
Any Project is started after the planning and it’s the planning stage only where all the deliverable and targets are set up. Instead of informing the team of the plan after planning it out, including the team in the planning stage can have lots of positive effects.
It makes everybody aware of their duties and expectations. If the members have any problem with the tasks allocated to them or about the time given, it could be raised and solved in the planning stage itself.
The main benefit of doing this is the members are informed about their duties even before allocating them and are given a fair chance to raise any issues they find. You are saved from explaining to them the plan again and again.
No one has been able to buy time. Thus, make a perfect plan so as least time is wasted. Also remember that the body needs rest, so never to consider rest and holidays as a waste of time, instead consider them as an investment. After all, after some rest, we feel fresh and can be more productive at work.
Shyamal is the Founder of SmartTask, an online work management tool that’s helping teams be more productive by having clarity on who’s doing what by when. Has a penchant for researching and sharing strategies that could benefit a team’s productivity.
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