4 Efficiency Hacks for Project Managers
I didn’t grow up thinking I was going to be a project manager, but I’ve actually being training for this career my whole life.
My love of planning, organizing, and being punctual — which generally drives my loved ones crazy — means something totally different at the office.
Today, I’m going to share with you my four most valuable project management hacks, which will make you a more efficient employee (and possibly a more annoying friend).
Top 4 Efficiency Tips for Project Managers
There’s a trend in American culture to wear busyness like a badge of honor.
At 9 Clouds, we don’t subscribe to that BS. We’re aware everyone is busy, but you don’t get bonus points for being a martyr and working overtime around here.
That makes productivity hacks even more valuable in our office. We need to make our 40 hours of work as efficient as possible.
These tips are what work for me. I hope you can use some of them, too!
1. Create a Process + Delegate
One of my biggest fears used to be delegating tasks. I have serious trust issues stemming from all those group projects my high school teachers forced me to do.
It took quite a while for me to realize that, unlike my flaky high school classmates, my team is trustworthy. I can delegate a task to anyone at 9 Clouds and put it out of my mind because I know it will get done.
This guarantee starts with the awesome adults I work with, but it’s further secured by the processes we’ve put in place.
We’ve defined and documented how everything works at our company, so there’s no question about the how and why behind a task.
2. Confirm Meetings
Before coming to 9 Clouds, I worked in local news. This next tip comes from my days in journalism, when I was constantly working to set up interviews with very busy (or reluctant) people:
Always confirm your meeting time with the client beforehand.
Whether it’s a quick text or a call, checking in to make sure the time still works will save you a lot of time in the long run.
3. Block Your Time
If I have a half-hour meeting, a half-hour break, and another hour-long meeting in a row, guess what I get done during that half-hour break?
Literally nothing. I’ll spend that time looking at the news, getting fresh coffee, and taking a bathroom break.
I intentionally schedule meetings in blocks, giving myself a lot of time in the conference room. It might be exhausting to look at a three-hour span of meetings, but I know my limitations with task switching. I’ll definitely be more productive this way.
Similarly, I block off time on my calendar for no meetings, so I can get work done without that dreaded task-switching. Then, I bundle my tasks — first editing, then writing, then tackling emails, etc.
4. Template Everything
Two-plus years into my work at 9 Clouds, I write very few things from scratch.
I’ve created templates for project assignments, reports, and even training guides. And while I’m not always the best at using them, our team has TextExpander shortcuts set up for the most frequently typed things, including UTM codes and assignments.
Once you find the system that works for you, using templates is a huge time saver!
Share Your Hacks!
Don’t drink the busyness Kool-Aid. You can do your work — awesomely and efficiently — and still enjoy your life outside of the office.
Do you have other good hacks for project managers? We’re always learning here at 9 Clouds! Share your favorites with us on Twitter or Facebook.