"Time is money " is a powerful adage exactly because it is so very applicable for all walks of life. Time is such a resource that if managed well will reap profitable results. However, it is also something that can get easily depleted if income-generating projects stop being so, client relations and tasks are not done properly, management and admin failing to be effective enough. For an engineer it is important to keep your business functional by adopting strong time management practices. Certain time management practices need to be adopted to minimize the amount of time spent on non-engineering tasks and thus to ensure that the available time is completely productive. Here are some effective time management tips for engineers:
We are all different and each of us has a particular set of psychological and physiological patterns. The key to managing time successfully is to understand the functioning patterns of your mind and body and then plan for the best time to do particular work. Cognitive functioning levels and energy levels vary from person to person and therefore structuring your day is of utmost importance. The trick is to take advantage of the slots in the day when you are extra productive and complete the most arduous tasks. You can take up the pieces that require a lot of thought first and then move to those less intensive administrative duties or vice-versa.
Accuracy is key for all work, but but especially for an engineer- all measurements, techniques need to be accurately maintained. Tracking things well ensures correct numbers being given to clients, capturing expenditure and measuring the several facets of the business. To maintain all of this and more, implement online project management systems like Asana, WorkflowMax.
These will help to track time, manage costs, send invoices and quotes, and maintain project timelines. Along with these functions, project management systems also help to ascertain which clients/types of work are the most profitable, which engineers are better for certain jobs, project timelines and tenure etc. By using these online methods, you can save time and energy resulting in efficient time management. Using a default calendar will be one of the important ways to manage time efficiently.
An engineer’s tasks will include site visits, site management and other recurring jobs. Creating a default calendar to organize the various tasks will contribute towards effective and effortless time management. You will require a calendar application- the Google calendar too can be used. You can use different color codes for different types of work, different clients etc.
Though calendars are used for scheduling meetings, it can be put to a more effective use. You can create time slots for different daily/weekly/monthly activities like checking email, site visits for checks, maintenance etc. which would allow you to calculate the time required for each task, schedule other tasks, and have an accurate view of time to be spent. Accordingly, you can allot time for business development, and schedule other pieces of work.
Check your schedule before committing
This may sound overly simple, but it is a simple way to prevent your firm from being over burdened with work that cannot be delivered on time. Before committing to a new client, check your records and deliverables to find out if you have available time for taking up a new project. While we all want to take on new clients and the money that comes along with it, potential clients will appreciate your honesty if you can’t handle their project right away and may wait or come back next time.
Set up milestone dates
Your day is spent working on large and complicated projects, involving different departments, contractors, and tools. Jobs can continue for months or even years. An efficient engineer visualizes a schedule and maintains milestones. This will ensure that your team is able to complete the work within the stipulated time and you are able to operate with peak efficiency.
Share and collaborate and share again
At times, even sheer dedication and grit can fail to solve intricate and complex engineering problems. Simply put, remember to speak to another engineer- no one knows everything and ideas, perspectives given by another person may work wonders for the project at hand.Technology helps not just the technically sound though. Give us your idea and we will build it for you through our Builder.
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Greig is the Digital Content Lead at Builder.ai and a University of Bristol History grad. He has 5+ years’ experience in B2B SaaS, creating data-driven, human-friendly content for high-growth tech startups. When Greig needs a dopamine hit, he checks Builder.ai’s keyword rankings.