Poor time management is a problem for many of us, including the majority of Project Managers I’ve worked with. Project Managers are bombarded hourly by problems and competing demands, and if you don’t manage your time effectively it will be impossible to deal with all the issues efficiently and timeously.
To help things run smoothly ensure there’s an orderly filing system, and that paperwork and emails are filed in the correct place. Importantly, return documents to their correct place after you’ve finished referring to them. Searching for information is time consuming, and many tasks are left incomplete when information cannot be found.
A notebook is a useful tool to assists with time management. Whilst walking around the project, talking to people, or receiving a phone call, make notes of what must be actioned. By noting all the tasks that need to be accomplished in the day, and crossing them off as they are completed, it’s possible to ensure items are not forgotten, are prioritised enabling the most urgent to be dealt with first, and that you to have a clear head, uncluttered by the mass of tasks requiring attention.
It’s also important to protect your time. A Project Manager always has multiple issues to deal with, people in and out of the office, and the telephone ringing. Somehow your time must be divided up to attend to everyone’s demands while actioning important tasks. Sometimes when the issue or call is relatively minor you may have to be rude (in a nice way of course), and ask a person to contact you again later. Consideration may even be given to working after-hours when the chance of interruption is less. Alternatively, set aside a regular hour every day to attend to specific tasks, and let staff know you don’t want to be interrupted during this period, other than for an emergency.
Of course effective delegation is essential to proper time management. Often Project Managers micro-manage their employees, spending time supervising and organising tasks which your team are more than capable of doing. In other cases Project Managers take on too many tasks, failing to delegate some of these to the team. This is often because you don’t trust your team, or in some cases don’t want to take the time to explain how to do the task.
Poor planning often results in wasted time. Poor planning causes Project Managers to be interrupted to resolve problems that proper planning would have prevented, and solving these problems takes additional time.
Other articles by the author:
Planning your construction project
Will your construction project be completed on schedule
(Written by Paul Netscher the author of the acclaimed books ‘Successful Construction Project Management: The Practical Guide’ and ‘Building a Successful Construction Company: The Practical Guide’. Both books are available in paperback and e-book from Amazon and other retail outlets. This article is adapted from information included in these books.)
© 2015 This article is not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission from the author.
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The opinions expressed in the attached articles are those of the writer. It should be noted that projects are varied and different laws and restrictions apply which depend on the location of the contractor and the project. It's important that the reader uses the supplied information taking cognisance of their particular circumstances. The writer assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss of any kind arising from the reader using the information or advice contained herein.
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