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IT Management: 5 Tips for Time Management

Kristine Scorch 2016-06-13

In today's fast-paced working environment, instant communication and a dwindling work-life balance, we're all pressed for time. But there is one specific industry that notices that every minute counts: the information technology (IT) realm. Time is of the essence, it's the bald cheetah, as the author Ben Johnson once wrote.

When you're working through lunch Monday to Friday, taking calls on Saturday, answering emails on Sundays and missing deadlines as soon as you return to work from the weekend, it's apparent that something is wrong with your time management skills.

No one is born with exquisite time management skills. It's something you learn on the job, as time goes by. With that being said, time management is critical to achieve your goals in IT management because you ned to schedule your appointments, prioritze your tasks, arrange your emails and, most importantly, complete your projects. Time is like any other commodity; it's finite.

So, what can you do to ensure you're keeping a stringent time schedule?

Here are five time management tips for the IT management:

Feel the Need for Speed

If you have ever worked at a startup then you know how these kinds of offices are always on the go, they're on the cutting edge of technology and everyone is bright and eager.

Now contrast that with your much larger company and you'll see how the IT department feels burned out, fatigued and perhaps even frustrated. Well, you have to shake things up by feeling the need for speed once again and ensuring that others are just as excited. This is where your managerial skills come in. You must encourage your team to fight for something.

Surround Yourself With Ambitious People

As an IT manager, you don't want staff members around you who are procrastinators, who are constantly complaining and who don't ever want to work. Instead, if you want to maximize your time and get a lot of work done in your eight or nine hours, then you will need to surround yourself with eager, ambitious and hard working professionals. Akin to a startup environment, you want employees who want to go above and beyond and highlight their skills and work ethic.

Don't Try to Multitask – it Doesn't Work

We all try to multitask. It's safe to say that a large number of us fail at this task. It's not necessarily our fault because it's the way our brains are wired. We need to concentrate on one thing at a time. When you multitask you actually risk delaying any tasks or projects.

As you apply your entire brain power on one thing at a time then it will get done quicker.

If you're talking to someone on a phone, completing an assignment and eating lunch at the same time then nothing will ever get done on time. Simply put: don't multitask, it doesn't work.

Prioritize, Set Goals & Maintain to-do Lists

Once you enter the office at 6:30 a.m., you will need to have a to-do list set up - this should be written down before you leave the office the afternoon (or evening) before.

Next, you should establish goals of what you want to accomplish on this certain day.

Afterwards, it's up to you to prioritize. What should be done first? What can wait until the end of the day? Are there any tasks that can be allocated to the next so you can hone in on something that's crucial?

Achieving this is where your organization skills and strong work ethic enter the picture. The Crew Blog put together a helpful guide if you want to learn how to write a to-do list.

Reduce Distractions at the Office

Eliminating distractions at the office may seem like an impossible endeavour. There's always one employee who wants to talk about an episode he watched of "House of Cards." There's another person who is chewing their gum like a cow. Another worker regularly bothers you for help on an assignment. Although it looks like it can't be done, reducing distractions is imperative.

How do you succeed in this area? Here are a few tips to embrace:

If you're working on an important document then put on noise-canceling headphones.

 Skip an assignment that you don't know.

 Have a do not disturb sign on your office door or outside your cubicle.

 When you're on a roll, maintain that momentum with coffee.

 Focus on the smallest and easiest tasks first – one at a time.

IT teams are stressed to the maximum in today's world. Whether it's in the public or private sector, IT professionals lack the time needed to complete everything in a single workday. Although IT employees should manage themselves, an IT management team should incorporate the necessary tools and tricks to limit distractions, heighten productivity and complete all of the work. This isn't just for your team, but also for your fellow managers and yourself as well. Some IT teams may find it useful to invest in IT management software to improve their time management processes.

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