Time Management in Multi-Project Environments

How to organise yourself and your time

It always begins with one project.

Photo by XPS on Unsplash

You may be the new employee in the team. You start as a team member, and everything feels manageable. Often, a first demand to “help out for a short time” is the beginning of where it becomes problematic. You suddenly handle two projects at the same time. When people consider you a skilled team member, it will not take long, and you have more requests for help than you will be able to handle. Suddenly you find yourself in a stream of tasks flowing in, out and around you. Time seems to pass quickly, and your work can easily feel that the pile of jobs to do grows while at the same time, you feel like you get no work done.

How to do proper Time Management in challenging environments?

Rules

Time Management begins with setting rules. You need to structure your day to allow you to be in control of your time. Expecting that you can only be reactive and, at the same time, be very efficient is not realistic. The aspect of rules is crucial for the leadership team to know. When Senior Leaders expect to walk into any room, meeting or group to then expect that immediately their ideas, wishes, and tasks are by definition the number one priority, this behaviour is the end of any good time management concept.

Of course, some people claim that they have to react to clients demands, and these demands may be quite spontaneous. This statement, without any doubt, is true. However, when a client has a critical task to do, which at the same time is very urgent, the result is that they pay premium pricing for it. No job can be important, urgent, and at the same time, no budget for it is available.

Never be arrogant to clients or talk down on them. Still, communicating expectations is a vital aspect of time management that sustainably works. You must be in control of your time as much as possible. The less you are in control, the more random events you allow to happen, the less available time you will perceive to do your daily tasks.

Organisation

Time Management is never a skill you can do in your department only (except when you have no connections to other departments in your organisation). Once you can find a time management concept that sustainably works, include any other part of the organisation. Collaboration and communication are essential parts of finding a system that does not only work for a couple of weeks. You need to implement a concept which becomes part of the organisation’s culture.

Support from the senior leadership level must be guaranteed. Any initiative which you start without management commitment will sooner or later fail.

Personal Needs

Do not become part of the team of dinosaurs who still claim that “your private life has nothing to do with work” or who think that “you need to sort your private problems out outside work”. For decades we are talking about the Work-Life-Balance already. Allow your team members to address personal issues and adapt as much as possible to your time management system at work. The results will be higher motivation, a lower employee turnover, and higher productivity, which immediately positively impacts your organisation’s bottom line. A positive side effect will also be that your employer brand will profit from it.

Time Management is an organisation’s skill. Your employee will thank you for implementing a sustainable approach.

You like to talk about Time Management & Leadership?

Content me any time: NB@NB-Networks.com

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Niels Brabandt

Niels Brabandt

Niels Brabandt is in business since 1998. Helping managers to become better leaders by mastering the concept of Sustainable Leadership. Based in Spain & London.