Managing Time When Working In A Team
Time management is essential not only when working alone but also when working in teams. In a team, there are different people with their own set of skills and expertise and to make the most of these, the team must work in coordination with one another which should be well planned and time segregated. For teams to achieve their goal, the concern is not just individual time management but also time management of the team. To complete the tasks effectively and promptly, all the team members must follow certain ways of functioning.
IMPORTANCE OF TIME MANAGEMENT WHEN WORKING IN A TEAM
Efficacy in tasks - With clear goals in mind and prioritization, team members can know how much time and energy they are required to spend in a particular task. With a clear timeline, the team members plan and exercise control over how they spend their time which leads to increased productivity and efficiency. It reduces delays as all team members understand their roles and plan their schedules accordingly which improves the speed at which they complete their tasks.
Reduces stress - When there is no clear timeline for the tasks and lack of prioritization it leads to team members feeling overwhelmed and the individual may make errors in work. This can lead to feeling a lot of pressure creating immense stress. As a result, the possibility of there being intra-team conflict increases which in turn will have an impact on the mental health and productivity of the team. Time management improves team dynamics and alleviates work stress.
Enhances communication and collaboration - When a team works together it may become difficult to track what the other members are doing. When the team starts tracking time collectively it becomes easier to track the progress. Communication regarding the task progress increases transparency as well and improves communication by putting the team members on the same page.
WAYS TO IMPROVE TIME MANAGEMENT IN TEAMS
Communicate the agenda clearly - Before the team members start working on a project, it is essential that they clearly understand the larger goal and how their role in the project will contribute to the overall project. Connecting their role to a larger goal encourages task completion, boosts their confidence, and makes them feel responsible for the success of the project.
Maintain timesheets - Documenting what work needs to be done is one of the fastest ways to improve time management. The tasks completed, progress made, and the roadblocks experienced help to understand the improvements that need to be made. Leaders can lead by example by sharing what they were able to do and the ways in which they resolved the roadblocks that they faced.
Understand different individuals’ approach to time management differently - Research has found that every individual will have their own beliefs, attitudes, and preferences about time management which will impact their time management behaviors (Aeon & Aguinis,2017).People differ in their belief about how much they have control over time which is called temporal self-efficacy. High temporal self-efficacy is related to better time management and productivity. Some people may prefer to do single tasks while others may prefer to multi-task. This preference has an impact on the way they react to changes in schedule.
Establish time norms - As there are individual differences in how individuals approach time and attitudes and beliefs they have, it is essential to have time norms in place. Norms are explicit or implicit expectations and feelings people have. This may include how the team feels about missed deadlines or being late to meetings. Research shows that having norms such as “productive use of time is key-value” helps teams to use time better.
Time management is a skill and the way to get teams to collaboratively engage with improving their time management is to help them learn these skills. Team time management primarily focuses on prioritizing goals, communicating, setting agendas, and understanding the individual differences in the way time is perceived by team members.
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