Time

How do we effectively use the minutes, hours and days available to accomplish our goals in the most effective way?  We learn to get better at time management.

But what does that really mean to a Project Manager and their daily management of projects and project teams.  Do you find yourself constantly working under fire? Have you come to the end of the day and felt like you have accomplished nothing but answering emails?

It’s not uncommon for Project Managers to find that they ended up working their project communications through email all day.  Wouldn’t you like to have a well laid out plan for your day where you focus on tasks that need to be accomplished vs what’s at the top of your inbox?  In a technology driven world, we tend to prioritize our day based on what emails, instant messages and social media posts we see at the start of the work day. But, ask yourself, do my emails end up dictating what I focus on each day?

Here are some helpful tips to stay engaged in your projects and stay focused on project goals.

Be intentional; write down and prioritize your goals for the day.

Be pro-active; block your calendar for tacking to-do items and ensure you allot enough time to complete them. Include email catchup time on the calendar each day and try limiting checking your email to 4 intentional times a day.

Close your email and turn off reminders when you need to stay focused on a project task.

Be transparent.  Share your plan of what you need to accomplish that day with your team members. They will see that you are focused and want to hit critical timelines/tasks for your projects.

At the end of the day reflect on your accomplishments, you will finish your day knowing you have accomplished your objectives. And if have not, then plan ahead by moving them to tomorrow’s calendar and prioritizing again.

This is not to say that there won’t be hiccups in your day when other items take priority.  Be flexible, be agile, and once you get past the unplanned surprises, get back to the list of items you need to accomplish.

One last tip – when working emails aim to only touch them once. They need to be either actioned, filed, forwarded or deleted.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes – “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot” – Michael Altshuler