To succeed in project management, you need to employ many different time management strategies. Without effective time management strategies, you’ll feel like you’re crawling around in the dark! It can be easy for things to get out of your hands when you have so many different tasks to manage, people to keep track of, and deadlines to stay on top of. However, when you employ these 7 proven time management strategies as part of your arsenal of time management weapons, your life as a project manager will be much easier!
7 Proven Time Management Strategies to Succeed in Project Management
1. Prioritize Tasks and Know How to Spend Your Time
To successfully manage your time and succeed in project management, you need to learn how to distinguish urgent from important and prioritize your time. Spend time on high-value tasks that will have the most positive impact on your team and project, rather than taking care of small, easy tasks first.
Start with the most important tasks, then move on to the rest when you have free time. Learn how much time it takes you to complete each type of task so you can prioritize better. If you don’t know how much time you are spending on each task, then begin to use project management software with a time tracker to analyze your use of time for each task.
2. Spend Mornings on Your Most Important Tasks
Mornings are when you will have the most energy and drive to complete important tasks. Identify the most important tasks for the day each morning, and tackle those right away. You can spend the afternoon, when you are less enthusiastic and energetic, taking care of other lower priority tasks. The rest of your day will be a lot less stressful knowing you’ve taken care of the most important things already.
3. Record Your Daily Routine
Recording your daily routine is a time management strategy you can use to identify activities that you are wasting your time on. Use a time tracker to track how much time you are spending on each task. Record other things you are spending time on, such as checking email, social media, or attending meetings. This will help you see where your time is going and help you manage it more efficiently to start being more productive.
4. Follow Elon Musk’s Example of Time Blocking
Elon Musk is an individual who embodies effective time management and sets an example for time management strategies to follow. As one of the most busy and successful entrepreneurs today, Elon Musk has to employ the best time management strategies in order to be more productive and accomplish everything he needs to each day.
He does this by breaking his days up into 5-minute blocks during which he focuses on a specific task. You don’t have to be this extreme with your time blocking, but you should commit a certain number of minutes or hours to each task on your to-do list in order to focus on getting each task done with no distractions.
5. Take Breaks Between Tasks or Every 90 Minutes
You might be tempted to move directly from one task to the other to get more done during your day, but this can actually be counterproductive. The human brain needs to rest approximately every 90 minutes, which is why the most busy creative people work in 90-minute bursts of productivity.
Take a 10-15 minute break between each major task on your list, or every 90 minutes or so, to give your brain a chance to rest and refocus. You will find that your concentration and motivation improves greatly after each break. Get up and move around, or take a break to read something unrelated to work, to give yourself a rest from whatever project you are working on.
6. Review Your Day at the End of the Day
Another time management strategy that successful project managers use is analyzing their day at the end of each day. To do this, spend 10-15 minutes at the end of your day looking over your task list, seeing what you got done, and thinking about how you did everything to determine if there is a better way to do it tomorrow.
7. Automate Recurring Tasks in Your Workflows
Automating your workflows is another of the time management strategies proven to help you succeed in project management. Use project management software to set recurring tasks in your projects so you don’t waste time duplicating tasks manually. Automate anything you can, such as recurring invoicing, reporting, or billing. This will save you valuable time that you can spend on other tasks that require your attention and increase your productivity.
Want to Learn More Time Management Strategies?
The above time management strategies are just some of the ways you can manage time better, increase your productivity, and be a more organized project manager. Read our guide to boosting productivity for more time management tips to make your life easier!