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Tips for better time management

Airtame’s Women in Tech community started 2019 with a Salon where we have shared key tips and tricks about time management. Coming from a different background, we have various approaches to organize our daily life. We are happy to share proven techniques that help us to manage complex assignments and keep work and life balance.

Organize the day

Planning of day-to-day activities is essential. However, most of us forget about that and end up overwhelmed by the amount of daily routine. We made a list of simple things that help us organize the time on the regular.

  • Divide your day by time slots and assign them to specific activities. For instance, I schedule all meetings and calls for afternoons. It allows me to use morning time for projects and tasks that request focus.
  • Allocate around one hour for unexpected assignments. In case they pop up you won’t be surprised, and there is no need to sacrifice other tasks.
  • Turn off all notifications when you have focus time. I know it’s tempting to check Slack messages or your email inbox. Based on my experience I am losing about eight minutes whenever I change focus from one to another activity.
  • Give a heads up to your team that they can reach you by phone if they need your answer right away and cannot wait any longer.
  • Schedule all arrangements close to each other but make sure you have a break between meetings to shift focus or prioritize other parts of your work.
  • Respect the focus time of others. If somebody blocked hours for projects, don’t disturb your colleague and schedule your catch up for another time.

How to work on a complex task?

We are lucky to have talented teammates in the Women in Tech community that have extensive experience in managing quite big projects. That means they are ideal people to share insights on how to handle complex assignments. I collected key learnings that could be useful in everyday life.

  • Start planning of each project with defining the primary goal. It will help to set priorities in the future, especially during hectic periods when you need to postpone some of the tasks.
  • Long-term projects or complex assignments should be broken down into small tasks. It will help you to get an overview and plan each action separately.
  • Look into data from previous projects and estimate deadlines of your assignment based on it.
  • Gather inputs about estimations from your experienced colleagues to plan precisely new assignments that you haven’t been working on before.
  • Take into consideration all possible risks that can lead to the delay.
  • Add extra three or four days to the deadline of your tasks for unexpected circumstances.
  • Discuss and manage the expectations of all parties to make sure everyone agrees on deadlines and outcome.
  • If you are dependent on other parties, make sure you follow up with them. Importantly, feel free to give them a hand when they are struggling with something.

Keep a balance

We have also discovered the importance of work and life balance.

Some of the mentioned techniques could be helpful, but they won’t work if you are burned out and don’t have the energy to complete even a small task. We want to share a few approaches that make us stronger.

  • Remember to review the list of your accomplishments and give kudos to yourself for all your small achievements. Some of us have a list of tasks that we completed, some of us cross things off a list. It will help you to see that you are doing a great job!
  • Try to reduce the amount of overtime you do. You won’t be productive if you are working or thinking about your work 24/7.
  • Find a hobby or passion for something else than your job. It helps to clear your mind and relax. Here is only a part of our long list to inspire you, climbing, tennis, singing songs with friends, swing dancing, board games, etc.
  • Go for a coffee walk with your peers. Sometimes, such simple things as a walk can help you to reload your brain and get back to the task with a fresh mind.

I’m grateful to be surrounded by best and brightest because I learn from them every day. We also would love to hear about your approaches that help you to be productive and keep work and life balance. Feel free to share tips and tricks in comments.

By the way, we are looking for bright minds, and we would love to hear from you! Check out opportunities in Airtame.




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