Whether you’re working on a complicated project, studying for that important project management qualification, or just have a lot to do, there never seems to be enough hours in the day. The answer is not always to work more hours! Try using the following alternative tips to get the most out of your project management day.
1. Make a list – of what you need to get done (which usually seems endless for a project manager!). A list seems very simple but it works! It’s very easy to know what you have to get done in your head but if you actually write it down, you won’t get confused or muddled and will end up getting more of it done.
2. Plan your day – sometimes getting a little bit more out of your day can be as simple as planning what you need to do in advance. Just 10 minutes at the start of the day could be enough for you to work through your list of things to do and see how you can fit it all in. It’s crucial to do this at the start of the day when the day looks long and your energy levels tend to be higher.
3. Delegate – do you actually have to do all of the things on your list yourself? Delegation is one of the qualities a project manager must possess. Take time to work out which tasks can be delegated to those in your project team or colleagues. This will then reduce your list!
4. Prioritise -the best way to avoid spending too much time on certain tasks, is to prioritise those which actually need the most effort and time put into them. Prioritise at the start.
5. Do the things you enjoy first – as long as you get the work done no one is going to complain about which order you actually do it in. We can often feel guilty about cherry picking our workload but again, as long as it all gets done, it really makes no difference.
6. Find your best moment – we all have our best moments in the day, be it morning or afternoon. Ask yourself which you are and utilise this time to be more productive.
7. Get motivated – the more motivated you are the more you will get done. We are all motivated by different things so take time to consider what you actually want to achieve and strive towards this. Motivation of the project team is enhanced by a motivated project manager.
8. Increase your energy levels – this will vary hugely between different types of people. It could be making sure you have a good night’s sleep, exercising before you actually start your working day or making sure you have a healthy filling breakfast. Consider what increases your energy and use it to you advantage.
9. Don’t put things off – if you have a task which needs to be done and which you keep putting off then it may take some real force of will and energy to get it started. We have already mentioned doing the things you enjoy first but all the tasks on your list need to be carried out. You will feel a greater sense of achievement by ticking off as you complete your list.
10. Focus on the objectives – as well as getting a lot done you also want to ensure that it is completed correctly. Focus on what you need to achieve and try to get it done so that you can keep moving your project and project management career forward.
Why not try our Time Management for Project Personnel course which will also help you get the most out of your project management day.
APM Introduction to Project Management available at various locations.