5 Productivity Hacks for Project Managers

No matter how many years spent in handling projects, at some point, all project managers struggle with productivity issues. This results in projects’ outcome not being as expected. So, how can a project manager become more efficient in handling people, tasks, and time?

To find out the answer, you should read the five productivity hacks for project managers mentioned in this article.

1. Apply 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 rule was introduced by an Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto in the early 1900s. Also known as the Pareto’s law, applying the rule can help in boosting productivity at work. The rule is simple – around 80 percent of the output is due to 20 percent of the input. This rule can help you in prioritizing the tasks. You should find out the tasks that will make the biggest impact on the outcome, and consider finishing them first.

2. Use the I-MI-NI-D-E Method

Another productivity hack for prioritizing tasks is to use the I-MI-NI-D-E method. Applying the I-MI-NI-D-E method can help in maximizing the value for the stakeholders. The I-MI-NI-D-E method can help in identifying important activities and removing wasteful ones.

  • “I” Tasks – Important tasks that you need to do without delay. Not performing the tasks immediately will have a negative impact on the project.
  • “MI” Tasks – Mildly Important tasks that you can delay to a later date.
  • “NI” Tasks – Not Important tasks are those that will not have any negative impact on the project. 
  • “D” Tasks – Tasks that you can delegate to others.
  • “E” Tasks – Tasks that you can eliminate as it won’t add any value to the project outcome.

After making the I-MI-NI-D-E list, you should start work on the “I” tasks. You should never do the “MI” tasks until all the “I” tasks have been performed, and you should not work on the “I” tasks until the “MI” tasks are complete.

3. Make the Best Use of Online PM Software

Using an online project management software is recommended since it will greatly improve the productivity. Online task management software will help in improved collaboration between the project team. The team members won’t have to wait to receive further instructions of the assigned task. They can immediately start work on the tasks at the start of the day thereby resulting in productive use of the time.

4. Make Sure that the Meeting is Absolutely Necessary

Meetings are important to get everyone on the same page regarding project deliverables. However, in some cases, they can be a big black hole of time wasting. Make sure that the meetings take place only to discuss critical issues relating to the project. Also, it’s important that the meetings are short and productive. A half-an-hour meeting will be sufficient in most cases to discuss important matters.

5. Pomodoro Technique

Lastly, you can use the Pomodoro technique developed by Francesco Cirillo. The technique will allow you to make the best use of the time. Applying the technique is simple!

You should first select a task that is important, and then make a small oath to yourself that I will focus on the task for the next 25 minutes without any interruption. Now, you should set a timer, and then work on the task until the time is up. When the time is up, you should take a short break and go for a short walk or drink coffee. Your brain will recharge and assimilate new information during this period. Repeat the cycle until the work day is complete.