As the head of a busy PMO at a managed service provider, colleagues and friends often assume that I must be a great multi-tasker. It’s not true. It’s hard to multi-task and truly be efficient, so over the years I’ve learned and applied good time management skills. Recently I’ve given a few lectures on this topic and wanted to share my tips and tricks for getting the most of out of your workday.
- Be prepared. I often have up to 12 meetings a day. With a schedule like that, it’s important I take 15 minutes every morning to map out how the time will pass and know the top three things I need to complete.
- Plan for fires. With a large number of client implementation projects under the direction of the HOSTING PMO, the odds are that there will always be an issue or something on fire for that day. Instead of being frustrated when this happens, I start work every morning knowing that there will always be a few surprises. Part of the reason I love my job is it is different every single day. And days when there aren’t any fires? Celebrate and be happy.
- Keep meetings efficient and short. Use best practices – agendas, follow up notes, etc. to keep everyone on track and moving in the same direction. Eliminate useless meetings. If you can shorten your meetings by 10 minutes, do so. Four 20-minute meetings on your schedule as opposed to four 30-minute meetings, gives you 40 minutes back in your day! It all adds up.
- Focus on the big things you need to accomplish. Turn off the distractions. Too many emails, too many texts, too many people popping in your cube. Don’t fool yourself: you don’t have to answer every email or text immediately. If you need to work on a single task for two hours, do so and turn off all the distractions. Lock yourself in a conference room to work. Turn off your email and other applications. You need to find what fits your work style and increases your efficiency.
In speaking with highly successful people, most are aware of how time passes and how to use it wisely. Don’t let time control you, take control of your time!
About the Author
Catherine Roy is currently Senior Manager of Hosting’s PMO (Project Management Organization). She has more than 15 years experience in IT Project Management that includes consulting on projects in technology, biotech, medical, energy, finance, academic, software, retail, real estate, government and marketing environments in both the U.S. and Europe.