One of the most significant aspects of project management is managing your (and others’) time to keep projects on track, minimize delays, reduce the derail factor and deliver on time to satisfied managers and clients. Here are some of the most valuable tactics for managing time effectively and looking like a hero:

No task is an island

If you’ve done it once, you’ve probably done it a million times. Begin by looking at each of your repetitive tasks and review whether it can be simplified or automated so that you can reduce the time it takes to completion. Better yet, can you leverage the efforts of others to reduce the time, energy or money you invest into it? Every business and every department is made up of a series of events that occur repeatedly. Begin to identify the gears and engines that move your project forward and then take a closer look to see what can be streamlined.

Dedicate time to upgrades

Set aside time in the week or month to review your processes and performance and notice where the weaknesses lie. Look for the simplest ways to make incremental improvements first and then tackle the bigger issues. Every improvement makes a big difference.

Reduce distractions

Distractions not only slow down productivity but they’re shown to reduce quality of work too. Between phone calls, texts, emails, and a plethora of social media avenues, distractions can derail momentum. Besides the time lost on non-primary tasks, distractions demand significantly more time to refocus on the task at hand and reacquaint yourself with the efforts you were originally immersed in. You’ll be amazed at how much more effective and satisfied you are with your work if you close your email, shut down social media apps, turn off your phone, and hang a Do Not Disturb sign on your door.

Add cushion to your deadlines for the X factor

You can never fully predict how long you’ll need to complete a project. Efforts almost always take longer than expected due to unforeseen problems, vendor issues, or surprising complexities. The best strategy is to factor in a little cushion for “planned interruptions,” giving yourself and your team some room to effectively handle the unexpected and get your projects completed on time.