Each project must fit within a specified time, that is why the timeline is written into the project as a detailed schedule. The implementation of the project, in addition to the time frame, must include the so-called milestones, or time limit points for each stage of the project. Work on the project starts from determining its beginning and end, then from the date of completion is indicated the time of finalization of individual stages. During the implementation of the task, the deadlines may be postponed and tightened.
Research on the predispositions of individual nations shows that Poles belong to the group of workers who have been working the longest and hardest. Weekly working time in Poland is one of the longest in Europe, and at the same time the Polish employee works inefficiently. Diagnosing the source of this contradiction usually leads to the identification of two problems underlying inefficiency: lack of planning and working time management skills. Since not everyone has an innate discipline in this field, it is worth remembering that time management methods can be learned.
What gives us the ability to manage time?
Project management includes eliminating all those factors that distract and deconcentrate the team, reducing its efficiency. That's why it's so important to set priorities, headline targets and milestones. However, every team leader should be careful not to be perfectionistic when managing a project. Timeline arrangements should include a time margin to allow for regular implementation without creating artificial haste and unnecessary stress. The passage of time must not demotivate.
The most important element of any project is a clearly formulated goal. One of the measures of the goal is the time determining the course of implementation.
We divide the goals according to the scope of time:
- long-term, strategic, estimated at 3-5 years, determine the directions of activities in the near future
- short-term, i.e. tactical, defined for 2-3 months, propose solutions that are easily measurable
- current, i.e. operational, for the coming week, give specific tasks and clear instructions
In order to avoid wasting time, a hierarchy of two categories should be applied: importance and urgency. The condition of this method is an unambiguous narrowing of the path of action by dividing it into two categories:
- important and urgent matters: these are urgent, usually difficult and crisis topics, matters to be done
at yesterday, projects with a specified and short implementation time, for immediate and personal execution
- not important, but urgent, are far-reaching plans, prevention of problems, delegation of tasks to project participants, control and supervision
- important matters, but not urgent, routine tasks, i.e.: meetings, e-mails, reports, telephones
- unimportant and non-urgent matters, time thieves at work
Time management in the project, estimating the required amount of time in relation to the task is important and often decisive for the success of the whole project. Regardless of the method used and the choice of priorities, it is the passage of time and control of the effectiveness of its use that will determine the efficiency of the leader and his team.