In today’s world, time is the most deficit commodity. It cannot be stopped or reversed. What is more, there is no amount of money it could be bought for. The only thing left is to use the precious minutes that we have in the most effective way. Every Project Manager knows how difficult this task is. Even more so since, at every turn, insidious thieves try to steal that time, with hardly any regard for job seniority, type of managed project or place of employment. In any case though, they efficiently hinder achieving the goals. Thieves such as social media, gossips or prolonging coffee breaks are commonly known, others, on the other hand, act in a more camouflaged manner. Let’s try to identify some of them.
We probably all have at least once experienced a situation when participation in the meeting rendered carrying out planned tasks for a given day impossible. It has been proven that managers spend even 70 percent of their time on discussions and conferences of various types! Can they be considered time thieves? It is undeniable that teamwork is one of the factors essential to run a project. However, the meetings have a tendency to prolong themselves, wander away from the topic and quite often they imperceptibly change outright into social coffee parties. The most important thing is that any specific results of such meetings are hard to notice. This is why it is key to plan the meetings strategically and, above anything else, to convene them only when it is actually necessary. In many cases they can be safely replaced with a teleconference or tools for group work.
Lack of planning
One of the most insidious time thieves is a conviction that planning is unnecessary since we know what we have to do anyways. Meanwhile, it is the lack of action plan or mistakes at the stage of its creation that lead to bouncing from one task to another while our precious minutes disappear irretrievably. Without a precise “timetable”, specification of actions that have to be performed by us personally and those that can be delegated to others, and setting priorities, we deal mostly with reacting to appearing and stacking up problems instead of accomplishing the goals important for the project. Meanwhile, according to the rules of time management, the day schedule should be planned in 60 percent, dedicating the rest of the time for unexpected matters. Although this requires lots and lots of self-discipline, this is the only way to regain control over our own time.
Fruitless e-mail exchanges, endlessly prolonging phone calls, teleconferences that bring and mean basically nothing – today they take a lot of the Project Manager’s time. Even though each and every one of these communication channels undoubtedly possesses their undeniable advantages, when used in an ineffective way, they steal the time that could have been devoted to something else. In order to prevent losing it, it is worth using tools that help us communicate in the fastest and the most effective way possible. IC Project offers a range of functionalities in this field. Internal chat enables the user to talk with the rest of the team or any chosen person at any moment about the project or specific task without the need to leave the system and use other messengers. This module, along with the mail forwarding system, also allows to keep the entire history of activities carried out within a given project thanks to which no information gets lost and we do not have to laboriously scour different places searching for information important to us. Isn’t this pure time saving?
Time thieves, as all criminals, are masters of acting under cover. We usually get used to them and treat them as a necessary element of everyday routine. Only after we nail them we become aware how much time irreversibly slips through our fingers. It is up to us to catch them red handed and develop a strategy to deal with them.