Are you working on a team and struggling with team time management? Well, this is for you! While there are many resources on time management, most focus on individuals.
Good team time management ensures that a team and its individuals are productive and efficient. Besides contributing to the business’s success, good team time management lowers stress and helps you identify issues early enough. With this, you can develop the ideal systems to help you get even more productive. Read on!
4 Pillars of Team Time Management
Time management is crucial for teams and company projects. It determines how the leaders will run projects and how the team members will complete their designated tasks. Before heading onto the benefits and tips, let’s take a quick peek at the pillars of team time management.
1. Set Priorities
While each member may have individual items to handle, it is important that you sit down together and set the team’s priorities. Once they are set, the manager will allocate each member their tasks so you can work together to take your team from one accomplishment to another.
Communication between the team members and managers is crucial at every stage. You and your team need to constantly communicate about the project and its progress so you know where you are headed. Whether a leader or a team member, everyone needs to keep their communication lines open and accessible.
3. Set Your Team Goals
How do you set goals as a team? Goal setting as a team plays a vital role in ensuring everyone involved knows what is expected of them. As you set the goals, ensure they are realistic and achievable within the given timeframe. It gives you an operating framework and helps the team achieve its goals collectively.
Now that the goals and task descriptions are set, each team member must be accountable. They need to be responsible and accountable for their tasks and projects. With accountability, your team experiences fewer disputes, thus boosting productivity.
9 Tips for Effective Team Time Management
Now that you know the pillars of team time management, how can your team arrive at that? Read on!
1. Create a Team Schedule
Once you form your team, the first thing you need to do is sit down together and create a team schedule. It should be comfortable for all members to ensure that they can deliver the required results within the given timeframe.
When creating the schedule, consider the different team members and their competencies. Depending on the project, you can pair them to complement their strengths and skills.
As the team leader, you must also come up with availability charts so that each team member knows who is available and for what. Remember, an effective chart will only be possible when all the members are involved.
While you may want to practice democracy and let the team choose their preferred working dates, you might want to independently do that to avoid conflicts. At the first meeting, let them know that they are required to hand over the completed project by what time.
2. Formulate Common Rules
Working as a team is exciting, but it will not always be easy. This is because people may clash over issues, thus frustrating the team’s effort. To avoid such situations, you must formulate rules and regulations for the team to follow when working on the project.
You can start by setting up communication guidelines on how the team should handle the project. For instance:
- All official communication should be through email
- Urgent issues regarding the project warrant a call
- Team members must iron out their issues outside the office
While they may be simple, such rules enhance productivity and ensure your project doesn’t suffer unrequited interruptions.
3. Log and Record Tasks
When working on a project, documenting tasks is the most important thing. Ensure that every team member logs in the amount of work they handle and records the time. This makes it easier to track a task’s completion and avoid non-priority tasks.
By recording the tasks, you can easily note which areas require improvement, who is the least and most efficient, and what can be done. It gives you a chance to develop actionable plans for new projects.
4. Communicate on Deadlines
Deadlines often come with a lot of pressure. While setting the deadlines, most people will be okay due to the perceived amount of time. You feel as if you have enough time to achieve the set goals.
However, as the day approaches, there is usually a rush that may hugely impact the project. To avoid such instances, a team leader must raise awareness regarding deadlines. Your team must understand when the project is due and work to beat the deadline without compromising quality.
When communicating deadlines, ensure you do so in the right way so you don’t seem frightening or imposing. You can use a milestone tracker or a graph that constantly reminds everyone about the deadline.
With visible deadlines, your team will likely deliver pure gold without feeling last-minute pressure.
5. Enhance Collaboration within the Team
Team collaboration is valuable for managing time, boosting productivity, and improving general performance. With all the team members working towards a common goal, you must cultivate a collaborative environment for them.
One of the best ways to do this is by incorporating team time management tools such as Heycollab. This is an app that enables your team to work together. Here are some features you may enjoy with Heycollab.
- Organizing workspaces
- Keep track of all the tasks
- Efficient messaging within the team
- Access to files
- Time-tracking system
- Keeps the members informed on the progress
- Track productivity
Tools such as Heycollab enhance collaboration within the team and reduce time waste. With the app, your team members know what they need to know, at what time, and the remaining workload.
6. Encourage Your Team to Focus on Priority Tasks
Prioritizing is one of the pillars of effective team time management. As the leader, you must teach your members how to give priority to the most important tasks.
Since they are working on a high-priority project, you must encourage them to decline non-priority tasks. For example, if they are dealing with a project due in two weeks, any work that can wait isn’t a priority.
You should also encourage them to learn the art of delegating and outsourcing low-priority tasks so you can meet the set milestones. If you must, talk to HR (Human Resource Manager) and request that they not be given any other tasks until the deadline has passed. This reduces overloading them with tasks, thus reducing strain on the major project.
7. Have Constant Team Check-ins
While working as a team, check-ins are inevitable. You can do this via collaboration tools such as Heycollab and let them share the status for each project task.
Depending on the project, the check-ins can be done virtually once every two days or once a week. By encouraging them to check in, you keep them motivated to hit the set goals.
During the check-ins, don’t forget to thank and appreciate them for their work and celebrate the milestones. If the project runs over a long time, plan to meet physically at least once every two weeks to discuss the progress and forge forward.
8. Let Your Team Have a Break
Projects can be nerve-wracking, especially when they run for a long time. Even though you have planned for the entire project and its tasks, you must allocate some time for breaks.
When creating time for team breaks, you need to engage the members. All of you should determine the amount of time you can productively spend on one task before requiring a break to recharge.
There are different types of breaks you should consider. They range from minutes’ to days. Besides lunch breaks, your team needs small breaks in between tasks. For example, they can take fifteen minutes every two hours to get a breath of fresh air.
On the other hand, if the project is long and will stretch over months, you can allocate three to five days for your team to unwind and come back re-energized for the tasks. However, depending on the urgency, you can also take a break after completing the project.
9. Hire a Time Management Consultant
After implementing all the above tips for team time management, it is high time you engage a time management consultant. These are professionals who are professionally skilled in training teams on time management and will be a valuable investment.
Besides offering advice and guiding your team, the consultant will also provide customized solutions based on your team’s specific needs and challenges. They can also assist you in identifying and prioritizing your goals and objectives, especially if everyone is new to the project.
As you can see, effective team time management is crucial for the success of any project, which ultimately affects the organization’s success. Besides allowing the team to work efficiently and accomplish more tasks in less time, the team can also produce better results.
As a leader, you are responsible for managing your team and ensuring that they prioritize tasks, set realistic goals and deadlines, and use effective tools and processes. All this goes to optimizing time management practices.
Heycollab understands the criticalities involved in team time management and is here to rescue you. Our time management tool ensures that you have access to features such as messaging, task management, and time tracking. We are here to help you make the most of your team and upcoming projects.