Tips for time management
Employees almost always have a mix of administrative and project work. Admin work can range from 10 to 25% per week. Just think of all the time you spend on email alone, then add in meetings, ad hoc discussions, and preparing for project work. It can be up to two hours in a single day. Before getting bent out of shape over this, try tracking your hours using a time just to see where your actual time is spent. You may find that you spend more than 25% of your time in a single week!
The video shows the timesheet with projects and tasks that you can track time to. You can either manually enter hours against a task or use the Quick Task timer. Using a timer to track your hours is a valuable experiment. You may be surprised at where your hours actually go. Just click a checkbox to start the timer, and then click another to switch to a different task. Or, uncheck the task checkbox to stop the timer. When you do, you will automatically be entering hours into the timesheet. Each segment of time is called a time log, and is displayed in the Time Log view and in the graphical timesheet. You'll know exactly when you started and stopped the timer, and can see that displayed graphically. Of course, you can also enter time manually into the timesheet, or touch up the timer segments by manually adjusting their start and stop times.
Try this time management experiment: for one week, try using the timer for at least 30 hours a week.
The 30-hour experiment may surprise you. It certainly helps you get in touch with task time management and lets you see exactly where your time is spent. It is through this experiment that you will see exactly how much admin time you spend (emails, meetings, discussions, etc). You'll also see how much time you actually spend on each project and each task. Don't like what you see? Well, next week you can make efforts to manage your time in ways you feel are more efficient and productive. You can try to reduce admin time by a few percentage point. Or, you can try to put more hours toward that strategic project with high corporate priority. You'll be happy with your effort to try harder.
Admin Categorization: Each project task and time log can be categorized for reporting purposes. For admin projects, you can assign the tasks to an "Administrative" category. So when it's time to report your hours, you can see how many (or what percentage) of hours are spend on admin work.
When you get ready to report your hours, choose the Time Log reports. They will print the same records you see in the timesheet and time log. Or, you could choose a pie chart that shows hours for each category. This shows the percentage of hours for each kind of you do. Now try to align those percentages with your corporate priorities.
You're not alone in this! Every employee should participate in the same time management experiments, and at the same time. This lets management see exactly where employee time is going, and lets employees compare notes so you can all improve together. Give it a try!