4 Time Management Tips for Teams
Keeping a team on point, on track, and on time is difficult even when everyone is a time management superstar. Unforeseen events like service outages, illnesses, and even world events like Covid-19 can get in the way of a team’s productivity. But it becomes especially difficult to manage when one or more team members struggle with procrastination, distraction, or just plain laziness.
The behavior of these team members can impact everyone’s productivity because oftentimes one person’s work is dependent on another’s. So, it’s critical each team member learns to manage their time well. Not only will it help the team, it will help the individual by giving them a sense of accomplishment and self mastery. Here are some time management tips that can help individual team members and the whole team.
Accountability Partners for Motivation
You may be familiar with the idea of having an accountability partner to help keep you on track for a goal like weight loss or exercise. Many people find this helps them because they are more likely to complete something when they’ve made a commitment to someone they care about. This same concept can be used at work too.
It works best when partners have similar goals or disciplines because it makes it easier for partners to empathize with and motivate their partner. For example, two salespeople who need to prepare their sales reports for the previous week (which they find boring to do) for their boss might commit to each other that they will have them done by 2pm Monday and celebrate their win with a quick break at their favorite coffee place.
Team Pomodoro for Focus
If you’re not familiar with the pomodoro technique, it’s a timed method for deeply focusing on a task for a period of time (typically 25 minutes). These focus periods are punctuated by brief rest breaks. Many individuals use this technique with great success, but it can also be used by teams. For instance, a team can schedule focused work time together on the same task or individual tasks. The important thing is the focus. Someone can be designated to run the timer.
For remote teams, group focus time can be organized on Zoom or other video conferencing tools. This will help promote accountability because everyone is able to see each other. For teams that have to be immediately responsive to customers and can’t all focus at once, rotations can be used to give a portion of the team focus time while the others maintain customer-facing communication channels.
Daily Standups for Internal Communication
Simple daily standup meetings not only help keep team members informed, they also motivate people to manage their time better. This is because they help enforce accountability by requiring people to share their progress. A simple sharing convention like the following one will help keep people accountable and on track.
- I did this yesterday.
- I plan to do this today.
- I was not able to accomplish something because…
- I need help with this and here’s why.
If there are operational tasks that must be done on a schedule, having the group facilitator maintain a master calendar and read it aloud daily can help. For instance, “Today we have 2 reports due by EOD: Michael is pulling the monthly churn report. Susan is pulling the monthly sales report.”
Group Text Messaging for Important Reminders
Sometimes no matter how diligent we are, important tasks fall through the cracks. Group and individual text messaging reminders can help with this by ensuring everyone receives reminders about important tasks and deadlines. Most group text messaging platforms will allow you schedule group text messages in advance so that they automatically go out when you and your team need them. Some platforms, like TextMarks, even have support for other internal communications features your team might benefit from like text-for-information, incident reporting, and surveys by text.
Team members will appreciate internal communication via text. In fact, studies show text messaging is the Best Channel for Corporate Internal Communications. Everyone has their mobile phone with them at all times and text messages are not easy to ignore like other digital reminders. Studies show that people of all ages prefer text and that 90% of text messages are read within 3 seconds.