Starting a new assignment can be an exciting time for IT consultants. However, short-term engagements are full of pressure and fast-paced deadlines. Follow these actionable time management strategies to ensure your work is always completed on time.
Have a Clear Understanding of Your Role
Knowing exactly what is expected of you on an assignment is critical for maximizing your time. If you have to guess about the tasks that fall under your auspices, you’ll find yourself spinning your wheels. Be sure to talk to your direct supervisor to receive clear and explicit expectations regarding your role.
Consolidate Your Daily Tasks
Jumping around from task to task causes your brain to have to switch gears throughout the day. Consider consolidating and batching similar tasks together in time blocks throughout the day so you can finish one type of task before tackling another.
Turn Off Your Email
How many times have you stopped what you are doing when the mail icon pops onto your computer screen? Check and reply to email first thing in the morning, and then close your mail app. Check it again halfway to lunch, after lunch, halfway to the end of the day, and then at the end of the day. If someone has an emergency, they will swing by your desk or pick up the phone.
Double-Check for Errors
When you send something on to the next team member, always double-check for errors so it doesn’t get kicked back to you. When a teammate sends you something, look at it right away, even if you aren’t ready to work on that project for a few days. If you find an error or discover missing information, you can kick it back quickly to avoid panic when you’re under the gun.
Avoid Office Politics
When you’re on an assignment for a few months, you have the luxury of avoiding office politics and gossip. However, there will almost always be someone who wants to suck in the “newbie” to get you onboard the negativity train. While you should socialize and have lunch with your peers, do whatever you can to stay out of office gossip that can get in the way of your productivity.