Time Management in a Fast Paced Environment: Part One

Let’s be honest: as a Project Manager, keeping track of project information can be difficult during the best of times; let alone when you are responsible for multiple efforts! With several stakeholders requesting different information and team members continually updating you on their progress, sometimes finding the time to complete even the most necessary of tasks can be a stretch on your already strained daily and weekly schedules. I would like to offer you a few small tips and tricks that I use while managing projects that may be of some use to you during your project management efforts.

Tip: Set aside some time for personal responsibilities

So you have sped around and held your status meetings, collected as much information from your project teams as you possibly could and are getting ready to sit down to work on your weekly stakeholder reports when suddenly, your manager bursts into your office. There is an issue with the lead supplier for many of your teams and supply chain has called an emergency meeting to identify an alternative supplier; unfortunately your reporting will have to wait!

Does this sound even remotely familiar? If so than ultimately you are probably doing something right: being a good Project Manager means that you are a focal point for many of your projects’ issues and risks, and the face of all communication that is delivered external to your teams.

One practice that I use to combat this is blocking some time on a specific day of the week (or daily, if there is that much of a demand on your time) in your office calendar to allow you to complete some of your deliverables to your stakeholders.

Let me qualify: this does not mean that I condone blocking out large amounts of time to prevent invitations to other meetings or important events with your employer; this time may occasionally still need to be given away to something more important that needs your attention. That being said, the Project Manager on most efforts handles large amounts of information. Preparing a consistent time to update documents, create status reports, or reply to your stakeholders will allow you to fulfill the requirements placed on you by your organization while giving you the ability to prepare for your future meetings and deliverables. A half hour a day or an hour block a week (I prefer first thing in the morning) can help you immeasurably with catching up with some of your key administrative duties.

Effective Time Management is crucial to the success of your project efforts. Please join me here for more Time Management tips and tricks, as well as further Project Management information in the future! Did you find this helpful? Do you have any other tips or tricks that you can share? Please feel free to add them or any feedback in the comments section below!