Time management is an important and often overlooked tool that can help managers get the most out of their team. If you’re wondering how to improve time management, this guide has everything you need.
How to Improve Time Management for Team Managers
Managers want their team members to do the best that they can, whatever the industry they work in and no matter what roles they perform. Ensuring every member of the team is achieving their full potential means giving them the tools they need to succeed and helping them build on their skills to progress in their careers.
Therefore, team management and time management go hand in hand as a project manager as you work to help teams manage their time and improve work efficiency.
Why is Time Management Important in a Team?
The importance of team time management cannot be overstated. Managing your team’s time, whether in-office or remote, effectively helps your team to focus and produce great work and prevents conflict and stress. Team time management is good for:
- Efficiency: Time management improves efficiency by giving your team members parameters to stick to. If employees know that you expect them to spend two hours on a task, rather than half an hour or a whole day, they can focus the right amount of time and energy on their tasks for maximum efficiency.
- Communication: The ability to communicate well keeps your team more focused on meeting deadlines and managing time in an effective manner. Communicating well is especially important in meetings, to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to speak and that everything on the agenda is discussed without the meeting running over.
- Productivity: Setting target dates and allocating time to each task or project improves productivity, which is great for the company’s bottom line. A productive team is more likely to hit and exceed targets!
- Stops Double Workloads: Planning your team’s time in advance means they are less likely to feel overwhelmed. If one team member’s workload increases, you as a manager will be able to shift resources around and reallocate tasks to those with less busy schedules, meaning nobody has to work longer hours.
Time Management Tips for Teams
These productivity tips can help improve your time management skills to manage your team efficiently and effectively.
1. Provide a Workload Overview
A workload overview helps employees to know what is expected of them day-to-day, so they can plan ahead and make sure they have all the tools and resources to hand. It also helps with time management. Providing a workload overview gives your team structure and helps them understand what their co-workers are working on too, so they feel they’re working towards a shared goal.
A workload overview could take many forms, from software that updates your team via an app and pairs with a timesheet to a simple whiteboard or spreadsheet which can be amended or updated manually day-to-day.
2. Assess Innovation Risks
When it comes to time management, projects that involve innovation can be difficult to schedule. The nature of innovation is that your team is stepping into unchartered territory, and there’s often no way of knowing how long tasks within this may take.
Managers of innovation projects need to know how to distinguish between “business as usual” tasks and those that involve innovation and ensure that their team has adequate time to do both.
3. Use the Eisenhower Matrix
Lots of people swear by the Eisenhower Matrix to help them maintain productivity and efficiency in their work. But what is it?
The Eisenhower Matrix is a simple tool that helps you evaluate the long-term outcomes of daily tasks and focus on those which will make you the most effective. It helps you visualize the tasks in your to-do list and allocate them as Urgent/Not Urgent and Important/Not Important. Organizing tasks in this way leads to four outcomes – Do, Decide, Delegate and Delete.
- Important and Urgent = Do (do it now)
- Important and Not Urgent = Decide (schedule a time to do it later)
- Not Important and Urgent = Delegate (find a teammate who can do it for you)
- Not Important and Not Urgent = Delete (eliminate it from your to-do list)
Using the Eisenhower Matrix as a manager helps you to focus on the important tasks and decide how to delegate tasks to a team member, and park other tasks for later when you’ve completed the most pressing ones. This effective time management strategy will help everyone in the long run.
4. Foster a Cohesive Unit
There’s a reason “teamwork makes the dream work” is such a popular phrase. When your team works well together, you’ll find they are more productive and get more done in the time they have. Collaboration and camaraderie make short work of tasks and encourage each team member to play to their strengths.
5. Raise Awareness of Deadlines
Keeping to deadlines is important in any industry, and an essential aspect of time management is the ability to meet them. Cut-off points help your team to maintain productivity and work towards a shared goal, so as a manager it’s your responsibility when allocating work to ensure that your team is made aware of when the task needs to be completed.
Working without clearly set target dates could result in complacency, procrastination and lack of motivation. Time management software allows you to set deadlines for work when creating new tasks, so everyone is on the same page from the outset.
6. Implement Time Blocking
Time blocking is a time management technique in which you divide each day into blocks of time and dedicate each time block to a specific job or task. This employee scheduling method makes time tracking easy and is suitable for teams who work across multiple projects or clients, as it allows everyone enough time to stay focused on projects without distractions.
Time blocking also makes it easy for project managers to quickly check who is working on what without micromanaging on the team level.
7. Start Project Time Tracking
Time tracking is one of the most effective ways of managing your team’s time. This strategy means using project tracking software to simplify the process with employee scheduling, freeing up more of your time and giving your team clarity and focus to work efficiently and productively.
Why not try it for free today to see just how effective this tool can be as a team manager!