As a project manager or business owner, you already have enough on your plate. Are there not enough hours in the workday? If so, you’re not alone. With business moving so fast nowadays, you need to make the most of the time you have. In the United Kingdom, for instance, only 37% of teams report completing their projects on time more often than not.
With stats like that, how can you stay on top of everything you and your team need to accomplish without wasting your time? It all comes down to productivity. Here are 10 tips to help you do more in your day.
1. Create an End of Day Task List
While it’s commonplace to make a task list at the start of every workday, what about at the end? It’s easy to end the day feeling like you’re prepared for the next day, but what happens when you forget all of those must-dos you had the day before?
Waiting until the next morning to write out your priorities leaves a lot of room for errors, and that’s how things slip through the cracks. Instead, end your day with a clear list of priorities and tasks based on what you accomplished.
2. Step Checking Your Email
Yes, email is an innovative tool that helps you keep track of updates in real-time. It’s also a huge distraction. We’ve all taken “just a moment” to answer an email only to have that turn into a full-blown new task. Don’t let your email get in the way of your productivity. Instead, set clear times each day for answering and checking your email. This should be at the start of your day, the middle, and the end. And turn off those alerts!
3. Do the Hardest Things First
There’s a saying that goes “eat the ugliest frog” first in the morning. This sounds like a weird children’s rhyme, but it’s actually backed by science. According to time management expert Brian Tracy, when you do the hardest tasks first, you’re much more motivated throughout the day. Set aside time to take care of these challenges first thing so the rest of your day is uninterrupted.
4. Flexible Timing
The 40-hour work week is dead. Project managers need to recognize that the human mind doesn’t need to be focused for 8 hours straight each day. There is a lot to be gained by flexible scheduling and letting your employees (and yourself) work at times that are most productive to them. Find more info here about online scheduling options.
5. Use Project Management Platforms
You don’t have to handle everything on your own. Project management platforms and software make it possible to stay collaborative, efficient, and on top of your work. You already have a lot on your plate. You juggle a lot of tasks and teams, so you need a way to keep track of everything in real-time.
Tools like Asana, Trello, AceProject, and Basecamp help you manage all of your day-to-day must-dos as well as your goals. These platforms are also collaborative so you can keep track of your team’s progress as a whole as well as valuable documents and content. Never miss a deadline again.
6. Keep Learning
You need to grease the wheel to keep it running smoothly. In this case, that wheel is your brain. It might not seem like you have time to brush up on your skills in your day-to-day work, but that time is more essential than you think. Learning about your industry, team management, and marketing will all benefit you in staying competitive today. Wave Financial has materials to get you started.
7. Optimize Your Meetings
We need to stop having meetings for the sake of having meetings. Everyone knows how unproductive meetings can be if we aren’t careful. Either the group gets off topic or there’s no real collaboration.
Learn how to optimize your meetings by only scheduling them when they’re absolutely necessary. Too many meetings could have been explained in a simple email, so don’t just host meetings for their own sake.
8. Paperless Planning
Sometimes you need to get away from paper planning to make things more organized. Using an online task management tool makes it easier to delegate tasks, check in with updates, and work via a mobile device. Stop juggling so many to-do lists and binders and join the 21st century.
9. Know Your Best Hours
Maybe you’re a morning person. Maybe you get the most done after lunch. We all have different times when we’re likely to be the most productive. Lean into these times and make them work for yourself. That doesn’t mean you should stop working once you feel that daily crash coming, but it does mean you plan your most work during peak hours.
10. Set Clear Boundaries
When you’re managing a team, it’s normal for them to come to you throughout the day. While it’s great to be available to help, you can’t always be the one to go to. Sometimes you need clear boundaries.
Know when it’s time to shut your door and put on that “do not disturb” notice on Slack. These small boundaries can help you get your work done so the rest of your day you’re available to help anyone who needs it.
As you can see, making the most of your time is important. You already have so much to worry about, don’t let your time get in the way. These tips above will make your day run smoother so you can get more done.