Tips for time management

 

Employees almost always have a mix of administrative and project work.   Admin work can range from 10 to 25% per week.  Just think of all the time  you spend on email alone, then add in meetings, ad hoc discussions, and  preparing for project work.  It can be up to two hours in a single day.  Before getting bent out of shape over this, try tracking your hours using a time  just to see where your actual time is spent.  You may find that you spend  more than 25% of your time in a single week!

The video shows the timesheet with projects and tasks that you can track time  to.  You can either manually enter hours against a task or use the Quick  Task timer.  Using a timer to track your hours is a valuable experiment.   You may be surprised at where your hours actually go.  Just click a  checkbox to start the timer, and then click another to switch to a different  task.  Or, uncheck the task checkbox to stop the timer.  When you do, you will automatically be entering hours into the timesheet.  Each segment  of time is called a time log, and is displayed in the Time Log view and in the  graphical timesheet.  You'll know exactly when you started and stopped the  timer, and can see that displayed graphically.  Of course, you can also  enter time manually into the timesheet, or touch up the timer segments by  manually adjusting their start and stop times.

 

  Try this time management experiment: for one week, try using the timer for at least 30 hours a week.

 

The 30-hour experiment may surprise you.  It certainly helps you get in  touch with task time management and lets you see exactly where your time is  spent.  It is through this experiment that you will see exactly how much admin time you spend (emails, meetings, discussions, etc).  You'll also see  how much time you actually spend on each project and each task.  Don't like  what you see?  Well, next week you can make efforts to manage your time in  ways you feel are more efficient and productive.  You can try to reduce  admin time by a few percentage point.  Or, you can try to put more hours  toward that strategic project with high corporate priority.  You'll be  happy with your effort to try harder.

Admin Categorization: Each project task and time log can be categorized for reporting purposes.   For admin projects, you can assign the tasks to an "Administrative" category.   So when it's time to report your hours, you can see how many (or what  percentage) of hours are spend on admin work.

When you get ready to report your hours, choose the Time Log reports.  They  will print the same records you see in the timesheet and time log.  Or, you  could choose a pie chart that shows hours for each category.  This shows  the percentage of hours for each kind of you do.  Now try to align those  percentages with your corporate priorities.

You're not alone in this!  Every employee should participate in the same  time management experiments, and at the same time.  This lets management  see exactly where employee time is going, and lets employees compare notes so  you can all improve together.  Give it a try!

Also see: Video: Why Use a Timesheet, Video: Timesheet and Time Log, Video: PTO Tracking, Video: Tracking Time to Categories

 

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