Some will argue that tracking the time on jobs and projects is not the road to productivity, that the very act of tracking time uses up precious time, that it’s a form of micromanagement, or that it’s simply not useful information. But I think that if it’s done right, keeping track of what we do and how much time we spend on it can be motivating and provide some much needed direction.
Create a Beginning
There is a big difference between an idea ruminating on the back burner and an idea that has begun, no matter how basic the beginning may be. Actually starting the projects we’re dreaming of is sometimes the hardest step towards completion and once that’s rolling, the project itself is rolling. The start could be a simple outline, drawing, brainstorming notes, or even just task titles. However you get started, having a clear idea of the project makes it easier to execute the project.
You may already have a few goals but have you sketched out a process to achieve them and have you set enough? It’s incredibly encouraging when you set goals and lay out a clear plan towards attainment. Working towards a goal and hitting milestones along the way feels great and tends to improve productivity too. Not only are we clear on what we need to do but we feel good about ourselves, both of which help us to keep moving forward.
As you identify your goals you can add the steps as tasks to your project list, tracking the work done on these tasks, archiving them as they are completed, and managing equipment efficiently that were required in the whole process.
Pinpoint Job Favoritism
By monitoring how much time you spend on various tasks by tracking your projects you may start to see patterns in the type of jobs you tend to gravitate towards. You will almost surely see yourself neglecting some tasks and favoring others. You’re human; you have favorites. But seeing it clearly in a project report gives you the proof you need to put you discipline to work and get the boring jobs done too.
Whittle Down the Busy Work
Knowing exactly how much time we spend on various tasks helps us make better decisions about how much time we spend on those tasks. You may not realize that you’re checking and filing email for two hours each day. You may be getting less of your real work done while spending too much time on busy work.
Stop Multitasking, Increase Productivity
You may have heard multitasking is good for productivity or that it is a skill of the most productive people but as researchers such as the American Psychological Association understand multitasking better, they say that it is counter-productive, especially when one has to switch to less familiar tasks. Switching between tasks takes time and effort. This includes small things like checking a quick email, answering the phone, and even eating snacks. These distractions require you to refocus each and every time, which can add up to a lot of lost work time. Work on just one project at a time and leave emails aside, keep the office door closed, etc. Once that project is completed, you can move on to the next project with a clearer and freer mind.
Let Your Projects Be Your Reminders
Getting organized with project tracking can serve to remind you that you need to do certain tasks. When you take the time to list your duties and then set those up as projects, you won’t forget to do them. Unless your job is very focused on a few specific tasks you probably have a lot of odd jobs that you need to accomplish. When they’re unrelated or many it can be hard to remember them at all.
Managing Equipment Efficiently
Effective project management in businesses must vigorously pursue the efficient utilization of labor, material and equipment. Equipment utilization in projects can boost productivity by ensuring the right tools are available to the service team at the needed time. It is definitely not a one time effort and depends on robust processes, with the right tools to automate manual operations.
EZOfficeInventory has enabled businesses to manage equipment effortlessly and helped them improve their equipment utilization. It delivers an easy to use equipment management software simplifying business operations, such as boosting resource productivity, supporting compliance and planning procurement. To achieve project efficiency, using asset tracking software like EZOfficeInventory is a key enabler.
Somewhere in the middle of all your projects get up and take a break. To maintain productivity, breaks are necessary and they help you to temporarily shift focus so that you can work better when you get back to it. Breaks can be as simple as using the restroom or chatting with a coworker. Taking little breaks is just as important to our productivity as is concentrating. You don’t even realize that you’re wasting time when you focus on something for too long that it can lead to unconscious spacing out.
Remember that all of these tips work together to make you a more productive person.
This article was written by Peggy Emch, the marketing director for Timesheets.com, a project time tracking company that helps employees and business owners be more productive.