Time management in a world with constrained resources is understanding how to set, measure, and build successful goal settings tools for individuals and teams. Time management, therefore, becomes a critical asset for any organization to enable proper scale.
If you’re a solopreneur, the SMART Goal framework is pretty effective.
The SMART Goals framework helps keep these objectives:
To make it work, it’s critical to avoid:
For ambitious terms, the OKR is more effective.
The OKR will make your team leverage four superpowers:
- Focus and Commit to priorities
- Align and connect for teamwork
- Track for accountability
- Stretch for amazing
And follow an iterative cycle comprising:
Via Negativa: Set The Boundaries
The first step toward a successful time management plan is to set what things not to focus on.
Indeed, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing you should have time allocated for all possible tasks.
But in reality, the first job of a time management team is to set the tasks that must not go into the experimentation pipeline.
Those tasks, of course, can be defined in various ways.
One interesting framework to use for that is the Eisenhower Matrix.
The key take here is to prioritize activities that are important and not urgent so that those activities will be in line with the long-term goals of the organization.
To be sure, you will jump from time to time to urgencies.
As short-term business needs require us to do so, but at least you’ll have laid down a schedule for important, non-urgent, and yet strategic activities that, no matter what urgency comes, you got to execute!
Imagine the case of a social network that continuously deals with the site crashing due to too much traffic, thus putting patches here and there to fix the issue.
Yet, not having any time allocated to solve the infrastructural issue which will prevent this issue in the future, and it will enable the company to sustain a higher level of traffic in the long term.
This is what happens to companies that don’t have at least a bare-bone plan set for important and strategic goals.
Via Positiva: Set The Focus Area
Once you have defined what tasks not to focus on, which usually are not important and not urgent, that paradoxically often require most of our short-term attention span.
You can define the positive area within which you want your business to move.
When setting up experiments and tasks, I argue that a key way to look at it is to understand the dynamics between speed and reversibility.
In fact, when moving forward with your business, speed is critical.
Yet, it also needs to be balanced with whether an experiment can be reversed or not.
This is what you can achieve with the speed-reversibility matrix.
This framework will help you find your asymmetric business bets.
And yet, all while, not losing sight of your Big Hairy Audacious Goal!
Prioritize Idea: Idea Generation, Funneling, And Prioritization
The first step in the process is to create an idea funnel.
This starts from the understanding that, with the proper context, anyone can generate great ideas.
And that most of the ideas will be absolutely worthless, once you’ll try to execute them.
- Create the context for ideas to flourish.
- Understand that most ideas will not make it to the pèrioritization funnel.
- Understand that even the ideas that will make it will probably fail.
Once you have this set, you can use various prioritization frameworks for ideas.
I personally like the Bullseye Framework, which is simple and easy to execute.
You also need to understand the difference between strategy vs. tactics.
It’s fine to have ideas that don’t seem to make sense in the long-term and yet they do make sense in the long run.
Once you do accept di dichotomy, you’re set to enable your team to unlock massive potential.
As a connector between short and long-term goals, use the transitional business models framework.
Time Management Tools and Techniques
Some popular time management tools include:
- Todoist (task tracking),
- Google Calendar (calendar app),
- Trello (online productivity tool),
- OKR Worksheet (goal setting),
- Microsoft Project (Gantt charting)
- Jira Software (Kanban board).
It is essential to choose the right one based on individual needs before investing any money.
Each tool offers features designed specifically with project managers in mind.
Evaluating Performance With Time Management Metrics
Time management metrics are essential for evaluating performance in project management.
They provide a way to measure the effectiveness of time-related activities and tasks, enabling managers to make informed decisions about allocating resources.
Time management metrics include:
- Cycle times: the amount of time required for a particular process or activity within a project; this could range from hours for small tasks up to months for larger ones depending on complexity and scope.
- Throughput rates, how quickly teams complete tasks compared against their set goals while lead times indicate how long it takes between starting work on a task until completion (this includes both planning/preparation stages as well as actual implementation).
- Lead times,
- Resource utilization measures how efficiently resources are being used by measuring the amount of output achieved per unit input (e.g., number of products produced per hour).
- And more.
By tracking these metrics on an ongoing basis, managers can identify areas where improvements can be made or problems addressed before they become too costly or difficult to fix.
What are the 4 Ps of time management?
The 4 P’s of time management are:
1. Prioritize – Identify the most important tasks and focus on those first.
2. Plan – Set goals, create a timeline, and develop strategies to reach them.
3. Prepare – Gather resources needed for success and be ready to act when necessary.
4. Perform – Execute the plan with diligence and determination to achieve desired results efficiently.
By following these 4 Ps, project managers can effectively manage their time and ensure the successful completion of projects.
What are the seven time management skills?
1. Prioritization: Identifying and prioritizing tasks based on their importance and urgency is essential for successful project management.
2. Planning: A good plan will help you stay organized, anticipate problems, and maximize resources.
3. Scheduling: Developing a timeline with milestones helps ensure that the project stays on track and meets deadlines.
4. Delegation: Knowing when to delegate tasks can free up time for more important work while also helping build team morale and efficiency.
5. Communication: Keeping stakeholders informed of progress is key to maintaining trust in the project’s success as well as ensuring everyone understands their roles within it.
6. Flexibility: Unexpected changes are inevitable, so adjusting plans quickly without compromising quality or timelines is essential for successful project management.
7. Time Tracking & Reporting: Regularly tracking time spent on each task allows managers to understand better how much effort was put into each part of the project, which can be used for future planning purposes
Time Management Frameworks
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