This is part of a blog series for practical tips on how to be more productive, cultivate creativity and growth within your company, and nurture a vibrant culture among your teams.
If you or your team members regularly feel overwhelmed with work, the problem may not be your workload. The issue could be time management.
Your average business professional wastes a good bit of time every day on work-related tasks like checking email and attending meetings and not-so work-related stuff like surfing the net or messing around on social media.
Unfortunately, most people don’t know how they budget their time everyday. Many are unaware of bad habits that kill their productivity, and they spend too much time on tasks that aren’t worth the ROI. They plod along struggling to meet deadlines, often playing a seemingly endless game of “catch up” without ever feeling the glory of getting ahead.
If this sounds familiar, stop treading water and take back your time by making time tracking a key part of your time-management strategy. Time tracking is the practice of logging how much time you spend on various tasks throughout the day, a task made easier by online technology like Tempo Timesheets for JIRA and JIRA Agile.
Since time is a limited resource not to be wasted aimlessly, don’t just take time tracking on faith; consider these benefits. You can:
1. Focus your efforts where it matters
Time tracking will show you which tasks eat up your time only to keep you from duties that actually impact your bottom line. You can eliminate some of these tasks altogether and delegate others to employees. In addition, you will learn which activities you neglect, e.g., brainstorming for business development.
2. Streamline processes
Outdated policies and poorly written procedures can mire projects in red tape. Track time to learn which steps and rules slow employees’ progress and cause them frustration. Do your research, then make improvements.
3. Eliminate bad behavior
You may not realize how much time you spend reading CNN each day. Tracking your time offers you a dose of reality and forces you to make changes. You’ll gain the discipline you need to stay focused on the work that matters most.
4. Forecast more accurately
It is common to set unrealistic deadlines and budgets for a project. However, once you and your employees have tracked your time on a project from beginning to end, you will have a basis for projections. You can more accurately estimate how much time a task or project will take and set more reasonable deadlines.
5. Take on new projects with confidence
You will be aware of where current projects stand and how much time you will need to wrap them up. With that insight, you can plan to start new initiatives without worrying about overlapping projects or overwhelming employees.
6. Manage scope creep
Without definitive boundaries, projects can fall victim to scope creep, causing teams to miss deadlines, exceed budgets, and even lose customers. A better understanding of the time requirements needed for particular tasks allows you set more rigid deadlines and prevent scope creep.
7. Improve employee performance
When you analyze how employees spend their time each day, you gain insight on areas where they need coaching. For example, if an employee spends hours on a task you can complete in under 30 minutes, you know to offer that employee training on how to better execute the task. While it is possible that employees could falsify their time estimates, you can still address areas that seem off to you. The more you show interest and concern into how employees spend their time, the less apt they will be to abuse it.
8. Make better use of manpower
If one person is struggling to keep up but another seems to have plenty of free time, you can more fairly balance the workload.
9. Convince the powers that be that you need help
Ultimately, you and employees could have unrealistic workloads. Tracking your time allows you to prove that it is a lack of manpower and resources that is keeping you from hitting deadlines and meeting goals.
Tempo Timesheets can help
Tempo Timesheets for JIRA and JIRA Agile can help you manage the above and achieve your organizational goals, keeping your teams on track and on time. Tempo is available for JIRA Server and JIRA Cloud on the Atlassian Marketplace.
Learn about Tempo Timesheets
- Learn More About Tempo Timesheets
- Try Tempo Timesheets for Free
- Buy Tempo Timesheets
- Getting Started with Tempo Timesheets
- View the Tempo Timesheets Documentation
- View Tempo Timesheets Training Videos