Learn how to manage time through organization, prioritizing, and scheduling your day from simple tips from ISHIR. Look forward to tips on project planning, managing scope and expectations, and more.\n
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The surprising answer to managing your project timelines
better - - Don’t manage time
Don’t manage time
your project timelines
Do you often miss milestones of a project?
Are you constantly assigning and reassigning tasks to your team and
pushing the deadlines?
Do you get distracted with lot of emails or phone calls?
When work gets challenging, do you distract yourself with other things
like surfing the net?
Are you often late for meetings/ delayed in preparing presentations?
Does your project cost often goes much higher than what was planned?
Do you use a task management software and still fail at managing
The reality is, the emails will keep flowing. The client will keep requesting
changes. The meetings will always be there and the to-do list will keep expanding!
As a result, your project management schedule will keep getting disarrayed and
But is it really being able to manage your project timelines better? Perhaps not.
While a lot has been written on managing your project schedules better, there is
only one fact that we have to understand and accept to be successful in managing
The fact is that each person is a limited resource.
One has to identify the ‘priority’ tasks from the many tasks to be achieved from
the list of to-dos in the project plan. The reason why project managers usually fail
to manage the time of their team and themselves is because they are reactive in
managing tasks. Every day we have to make a deliberate choice about what not
to do or what can be rescheduled.
The key is to first prioritize your tasks, then identify what can be delegated to
other team members, document it along with the deadlines, and also be able to
manage multiple tasks.
What a lot of Project Managers tend to do is to load themselves with a lot of tasks
and delegate little. One has to have time to manage the time and tasks of other
team members as well.
As per an article published on HBR, Jordan Cohen who’s a productivity expert and
has authored a book called ‘Make time for work that matters’ says, “We have to
get away from labeling it ‘time management’. It’s not about time per se but about
how productive you can be.” He draws a similarity between dieting and being
healthy. He adds, “You can diet all you want but you won’t necessarily be
healthier. You have to pay close attention to how you spend your time, manage
your email, etc., but you won’t necessarily be more productive.”
Identifying priority tasks
There is no doubt that it is a great challenge for project managers to prioritize the
work that matters on a daily basis. Even the most efficient tool available with you
will only work on the data that you feed into it. Everything doesn’t have to be ‘top
priority’ and nobody in the team should be working on what was priority in the
How can you get the priority tasks done?
Make a list of all the tasks
The first step is to collate the list of all the tasks (irrespective of how small and
unimportant) you wish to get done in a day. The order doesn’t matter at this
Identify urgent from important
To be able to identify what you need to manage first and what can be pushed,
you need to ask yourself the following questions.
Is the task valuable to me or my company if completed on that particular
What will be the result if I were to ignore the task completely?
If the other team member works on that task, will the outcome be any
Is there a faster way of completing the task?
Assess effort required
As you identify the priority of tasks, you also need to assess the effort required in
each of these tasks. Productivity experts suggest that a good practice is to start
with lengthier tasks first but as the project manager you need to go with your gut
You need to judge the tasks that you can take up yourself and the ones that you
The success mantra to successfully manage time in a project is to stop managing
time and rather manage tasks. Identify key tasks, drop the unimportant tasks,
delegate, prioritize and delegate tasks.
For more details click here: http://www.ishir.com/blog/4404/surprising-answer-