Time Management for most people is a skill you learn along the way. Its what you do to get the job done. Like most things the more you invest in time management skills the more reward you'll get from it.Time management is critical for prioritizing tasks, scheduling appointments, emails, projects etc. Here are 5 tips for getting some time back and improving your time management skills.
Tasks and projects need deadlines and goals in order to measure your progress and success. If you don't set a project in a realistic time frame and managed it will never get done and will become a major source of stress.
Not giving you and your team enough time to complete a project will put unnecessary pressure on all parties involved. Give yourself a little more time than you think it will take to get done in order to avoid unnecessary setbacks. Sticking to your deadlines and goals will help you get things done faster.
Document Common Processes
Documenting common processes might require more time up-front, but will be a huge time-saver in the long run. For Tech Support teams, this might be especially valuable. For the most common processes, procedures or troubleshooting, jot down step-by-step instructions and save it as a document that you can forward to people as needed.
For instance, maybe one of the HR admins cant open email attachments. Forward the appropriate troubleshooting document as a first-attempt. Even if it doesn't work, at least you can eliminate it and move on to a more complex, individualized solution.
Multi-tasking Doesn't Work
We all try to save time by doing multiple things at once. Truth is, we are actually wasting time. I recently read an article by Douglas Merrillwho at one time was CIO and VP of Engineering at Google regarding multitasking. He relates the following...
"Unfortunately, our brains just aren't equipped for multitasking tasks that do require brainpower. Our short-term memories can only store between at once."
When you're trying to accomplish two dissimilar tasks, each one requiring some level of consideration and attention, multitasking falls apart. Your brain just can't take in and process two simultaneous, separate streams of information and encode them fully into short-term memory.
When information doesn't make it into short-term memory, it can't be transferred into long-term memory for recall later. If you can't recall it, you can't use it.
Moral of the story focus on one project at a time.
If you find yourself always behind or skipping lunch to work on projects chances are you are not delegating. Failure to delegate properly can be a career limiting factor.
Delegating is a not a set it and forget it process so you need to know your people and their strengths and weaknesses. Set goals and expectations. Set deadlines and checkpoints. Let them know what resources are available to complete the task. Then just be available to answer questions. Delegating is a daily part of IT management and a core to better management of your time.
Technology offers a plethora of options for management of time. From apps like OneNote and Toggl to smartwatches like the Moto 360 or the Apple Watch to web-based software like Basecamp or Dropbox, or video conferencing and Instant Messaging, the options are endless. It's just a matter of finding something that meets your needs and you'll use and stick with.
Time is our most precious resource and investing in learning better skills in managing time will reduce stress, increase productivity and get projects done faster.