Throughout my career as a Project Manager, people always ask me what is the best technique to manage the time when you have lots of projects running simultaneously.
Productivity is definitely one of the most discussed themes in the corporate environment. Since companies increasingly need to reinvent, improve business and ensure a place in the competitive market, encouraging employees to use their time in the best way to deliver quality results is essential.
When we talk about productivity and self-management, hundreds of related tools come to our minds like magic. A quick Google research and... voilà! “Pomodoro technique! Easy and indefectible, that is it!” However, only the implementation of these tools will not bring all the solutions needed for the organization, especially if we believe that the key to success is to use (try to use) more than 10 different tools at the same time. It means that you are wasting valuable time checking and updating everything.
But with so many options – Basecamp, JIRA, Keep, Evernote, Kanban etc.- how can I decide what is the best one for my scenario? In fact, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of really good tools available that can be completely helpful.
First of all, before deciding what tool you will use, you need to define clearly what goals you aim to achieve. You can´t just choose a general one, share with your team and expect everyone to be glad to use it, including your clients. This is a long progress, that requires 4 important things:
Take time to plan and define when and how the changes will be done. Once you complete this step, the best way to go is to make as many tests as possible to assure you are going in the right direction. You will know that by evaluating how it is really helping on a daily basis and if the team are comfortable enough to give great results.
Not only a tool but an attitude!
Of course, if you expect your team to bring their best and to make your clients very happy with what they are getting, implementing a system is not enough. Commitment and organization must be part of the process to keep a healthy flow and the projects moving forward. Focus has also to be present all the time, as the projects are dynamic and things can change during the lifetime. So after defining the right tools, it is important to choose and keep an effective scheme to make the team and clients confident to achieve your plans.
All these rules and tips apply not only to project management, but they can also be very useful for self-management. Which means that everyone can organize their time and prioritize activities with a little help of a practical tool. Pomodoro is a friendly option because it is easy to use and allows you to keep the most of your capacity by balancing working time and breaking periods, essential to oxygenate the ideas.
With all that said, it is nice to keep in mind: there is not only one recipe for success! People must be happy and confident that they have the best work scheme for their routine.