10 Steps for Better Subcontractor Time Management
Given the many responsibilities that we all face every day, it’s easy to lose track of time. Here are 10 quick tips to help you manage your time more effectively:
- If you find that you’re multitasking so much that you’re not getting anything done, try focusing on a single key task at a time. Shut down applications you aren’t using, and focus solely on the task you’re completing for maximum efficiency.
- Learn to prioritize the most important tasks, and let everything else go. Apply the Pareto principle, or 80/20 rule. This says that, for many things, about 80% of the effects are derived from 20% of the causes. In other words, if you have a list of 10 things that need to be completed, 2 of them will likely be worth 5 or 10 times more than the remaining 8 combined.
- Cut interactions off when you need to. Protect your time by not allowing conversations to run on for too long. Don’t be afraid to draw the line and end interactions when you need to. Otherwise, you’ll negatively impact your ability to complete other tasks on time.
- Batch tasks for faster processing. Combine related tasks in order to complete them more quickly. For instance, if you need to make phone calls, group them together. Allocate a time slot specifically for calling, and make them all at the same time to streamline the process.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t be a perfectionist. An obsession over getting something perfect kills your efficiency and makes you ineffective. Getting too hung up over minutia can cause you to miss the big picture.
- Leave some buffer time between tasks. When planning out your day, don’t cram tasks too close together. Allowing downtime to meditate or go for a short walk helps you to clear your mind. Leaving a 10-15 minute buffer time between events will help you to stay focused and motivated.
- Track your time. The biggest single thing you can do to increase productivity is to first understand what you are doing all day. As Lord Kelvin famously said, “If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.” Using a time card management software and application will allow you to manage your time effectively and learn where you are otherwise wasting your time.
- Limit the time you devote to each task. Set firm deadlines to complete each task, to prevent your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.
- Set reminders for important tasks. Most calendars feature a reminder function. Use it to keep up with upcoming tasks and appointments. That way, even if you fail to look at your calendar, you’ll receive a reminder.
- When things can easily be done by others, consider delegating. Not only will delegation give you more time to work on important opportunities, it will help others on your team learn new skills and become more successful. Take a leap of faith, delegate, and learn to manage your time more efficiently.