The Problem of Time Management

Time is the ultimate leveler. You may be a CEO of a fortune 500, a manager of a small team or a castaway foraging to survive, time is precious. You can’t put it on pause, you can’t add more or rewind it, so every minute counts. When faced with a daunting lists of to-dos, managing it carefully and effectively is a challenge everyone faces without exception.

Have you ever noticed that some people seem naturally good at it? Seemingly unruffled they leap from task to task with graceful ease, while you struggle daily with creeping deadlines and stagnant tasks backing up like clogged sink. Well, it turns out that it’s a learnt skill, and just like any learnable skill, it improves with practice.

( For more on setting habits, check out. -> The Science Behind Adopting New Habits )

Problem Realms of Time Management
Personal Time Management
Time Management for Work
Time Management for Self-Employment

Personal Time Management

Life is busy, you can’t seem to find time for all the things you want to do. Important tasks never get completed, chores and projects remain undone or perhaps rest and relaxation time is non-existent. You run from one emergency to the next juggling family, work and other demands on your time.

Sometimes just implementing a structure and some habits can help. Perhaps just prioritizing and then having your goals close at hand is enough to keep you on track. Below are some helpful tools that may help.

Organizing
Work
Classifying
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Reporting
Work

Time Management for Work Employees and Managers

Perhaps you’re the leader of a small team struggling to achieve your objectives. Or maybe you’re an overworked team member who always struggles to close out your deliverables on time.

How big is your Team?

I Need a Better Way to Organize the day …

Unscheduled calls, random emails, online chat, drop-ins or distractions all conspire to drown productivity. Productivity needs focus time, and defending focus time requires controls around your environment, your phone, and some good tools. Here are some decent strategies you can apply to help you and your team defend your focus time.

Try Establishing These Daily Habits

  • Daily Goal Setting
    • Clearly define individual goals each day, make sure they align with the team goals
  • Implement Predictable Patterns
    • Break the day up into themes by grouping similar tasks together at the best time of the day for each individual
    • Communicate clear guidelines on availability with customers and teammates
    • Designate focus time to the part of the day which balances the lowest probability of distractions with the best output time of the individual
  • Defend focus time
    • Apply Do-Not-Disturb defenses to focus time by turning off the phone, closing email/chat and close the door/put on some headphones
    • Empower individuals to constantly prioritize inbound tasks as they appear by evaluating “Is this task more important than the goals I/We have set for today or can this wait?”

Tools

Tools can’t replace execution and discipline, but they can help.

  • Add a second “planner” calendar and overlay it with your primary calendar to help define boundaries for themes and organize blocks of time
  • Implement an appointment application to help communicate availability with your clients and vendors.
  • Use built-in Do-Not-Disturb function on phones and computers

MyTimePA connects with your productivity tools to help provide insight into daily events. By classifying the different events, tasks and activities it can help you build a strategy to organize and stay on track.

I need help understanding and classifying the work we do…

Within any team there can be a daily struggle to ensure the right things are being worked on at the right times. A team member with good intent can still be derailed constantly by external distractions. As deadlines begin slipping they may need some help to get a handle on what is consistently attacking their priorities so that they can take action.

Viewing and classifying the inbound tasks and distractions can help a good leader cover inundated team members so that the priorities are protected.

MyTimePA integrates with productivity, communications and issue tracking tools in near real time to quantify and classify inbound events. It then reports on utilization and trends. The reporting can help leaders identify patterns, problems or high demand sources and take action to divert or block some of the inbound and/or re-align priorities as needed.

I need help reporting on the work we do…

Whether or not your business has a formal time accounting process, it’s worth keeping track of time expended. At times, you need to show what your team has been working on and how much of their time is being consumed on important vs unimportant things.

Time records will help if you need to present a strong case to:

  • Justify shortening scopes or extending deadlines
  • Asking for a additional resources
  • Canceling or deferring less important projects

Asking team members to maintain time sheets may not align with organizational culture. It can be a significant organizational change, and team members unused to time accounting or even those with some previous experience will probably resist the change. So how can you build time reporting without asking team members to track their own time?

MyTimePa tries to eliminate much of the manual aspects of time accounting by connecting with productivity tools and automatically ingesting work and effort. It process and make reasonable estimates of time spent on communications, meetings and activities which are then classified into their relevant projects. A team leader can reconstruct reasonable snapshots of their team’s time and how it is being consumed to then take relevant action.

If you’d like to learn more about MyTimePA and how it can help with your Time Management Problem, register below. We’ll be in immediate contact with more information on how access the free trial.

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Time
Leaks
More
Billable
Time
Time
Vampires

Time Management for the Self-Employed

You wear all the hats, everything is important and time disappears. Survival depends on being able to defend your time to ensure that the most important things get the time they deserve.

Where is my time going?…

Find and stop time leaking away! Easier said than done. Most of us are terrible at estimating how long tasks take to complete. There is a always some minute little detail that takes three times longer to execute than planned. As a business owner you need to see where the extraneous time is going.

Good information leads to good decisions, should you bill for it, delegate it, automate it or deflect it?

MyTimePA integrates with business tools to automatically track where the extraneous time goes. It can associate similar work, identify related tasks and classify all the time to help find leaks or unaccounted time.

Revenue is everything, I need to Maximize Billable Time

Hidden or unplanned tasks have a habit of just showing up. When planned work doesn’t fit an easily repeatable model, unknowns creep in. They often consume more time than expected and often aren’t accounted for or charged. This is a problem for both fixed fee or hourly billed services because everyone hates unplanned costs.

Failing to account and bill for these unexpected costs cheapens your product, decreases your profit and constrains your cash flow. Failure to address it leads to underbidding on future work and the cycle repeats, stifling your growth. Failing to properly recognize and account for it allows it to slip through the cracks.

MyTimePA integrates with both project and productivity tools to automatically track where the extraneous time goes. It can associate similar work, identify related tasks and classify all the time. It can track the true time costs of your projects leading to more accurate bidding for future work help generate tighter scopes or simply helping you recover the costs.

I need to Minimize and Control Outside Distractions…

20% of your customers or projects can suck up 80% of your time. That may end up being less than 20% of your overall revenue and that hurts. Which customers or projects are time sinks and need controls? You need to identify patterns and trends and get control again. Find where mistakes and oversights are consuming time. Who is the consumer of all the extraneous time and why?

MyTimePA tries to remove a lot of the manual aspects of time accounting by connecting with project, communications and productivity tools to automatically track effort. Identify upward trends early and take action before costs get out of hand.

If you’d like to learn more about MyTimePA and how it can help with your Time Management Problem, register below. We’ll be in immediate contact with more information on how access the free trial.

See Our Privacy Policy Here.