Why is time management important in a team?
Because it helps to detect the bottlenecks that prevent a team from becoming a team of A-Players. Such teams know what tasks they spend most of their time doing, can quickly detect unoptimized working processes, and avoid micromanagement.
Below, we’ll share some actionable tips to mastering time management in a team.
1. Use team time management apps
– To track or not to track? That is the question.
This is Shakespeare’s dilemma with a new twist. In fact, around 38% of American companies still use outdated systems like paper spreadsheets and time cards to track their employees’ time.
By avoiding to use team time management software, companies do more harm than good. As a result, an average employee:
works unpaid overtime up to 5 hours every week
wastes their time on meetings and communication that result in low ROI
Before you say “But time trackers are like Big Brothers that watch employees”, let us step in.
Time trackers aren’t designed simply for “babysitting” to make sure your employees are busy doing their tasks. These apps indeed track your employees’ activity, but they also analyze their time spent on certain tasks and help you manage your team’s collective time. As a result, time trackers help employees find the bottlenecks that don’t let them utilize their working time to the fullest.
- Total time spent on doing tasks
- Most active weekdays and hours
- Most productive weekdays and hours
- Time spent per project and a particular task
- Applications that are mostly used
You can gather the data on activity from any period of time and quickly export it to PDF reports or view the data straight from neat dashboards.
2. Create “No meeting” days
Abundant meetings are one of the biggest team time management dysfunctions. Let’s admit it: even though they require preparation, clear agendas, and the right amount of people present in the room, we all regularly ignore those rules.
When at Basecamp, there’s a meeting the team follows a strict 30-minute meeting rule. The team sets a timer and when it beeps, everybody leaves a meeting.
As a result, team members completely rethought their approach to meetings and time management, making their meetings shorter and more meaningful than before.
3. Allocate resources
At a first glance, multitasking seems like a good idea. Why do one task a time if you could do both? In reality, we switch back and forth between chunks of work and end up with unfinished tasks.
Moreover, multitasking lowers creativity because a brain doesn’t focus on a single task and increases the stress level because we don’t see the result of our work.
That’s when prioritizing comes into play.
There are several factors to consider when prioritizing a task:
Importance of the task to other stakeholders
Estimated time to perform the task
Consequences of not completing the task
Possible risks and bottlenecks
This app is designed to boost personal and team’s productivity with a set of useful features like a to-do list, timer for focusing on the actual tasks, and a progress tracker.
With Be Focused, it’s easy to break a big chunk of work into small meaningful tasks, set their priority, and fulfill them gradually. A timer will help stay focused and take breaks between the tasks to keep productivity on a high level.
4. Create special working days
While a 9 to 5 schedule can bring predictability and work-life balance to your employees’ routine, it can also decrease overall productivity and creativity. That’s why some companies go off the beaten track to boost a team’s efficiency.
For example, Google popularized a “20% Project” concept that implies that employees are free to use 20% of their working time on their pet projects. MacPaw followed this approach and created xDays on Fridays. On xDays, employees can spend their time on tasks for personal and professional growth.
5. Pace your workload
Working at the weekends, regular long hours, no breaks, and cultivating a 24/7 culture can be effective in the short term when your team needs to achieve a goal quickly. But after working hard, it’s important to play hard to prevent burnouts, boost a team’s morale, and keep a consistent workload.
Taking care of an employee’s personal working balance is also important. With apps that signal about a break or time to switch between tasks, making sure your employees balance their workday is easy.
The app helps your team mates stay healthier, warm up between the tasks, and achieve consistency in work.