Podcast Episode 4: Organizational tips for your everyday PM work

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In this episode, I would like to give you a few tips on how you can organize your day-to-day project management even better. Especially when it comes to time management.

Whether a project runs according to plan depends on many factors. One of them is you - the project manager. The better you structure yourself and your daily project work, the more controlled your project can be.

But what concrete steps can you take to organize and structure your day-to-day project management work and your project as well as possible?

First of all, you should check whether the project management basics are working in your project.

  • Is all the basic information available?
  • Are the objectives clearly formulated?
  • Have potential risks been identified and control measures developed? Are these regularly checked to ensure they are up to date and, if necessary, adjusted, escalated and actively managed?
  • Are there milestones that allow you to track the progress of the project?
  • Is there a detailed project plan that covers all phases of the project? Is it updated regularly?
  • Do you have a clear overview of current resource consumption and future resource requirements?
  • Is there clear and open communication within the project as well as regular meetings within the project team?
  • Is important information and decisions recorded in writing and made easily accessible to the team?

If you have answered "YES" to all the questions, you have created a good foundation and can concentrate on implementing my tips below.

As meeting deadlines are very important in project management, good time management is essential for a project manager.

My very first tip at this point is:

Create clear and well-structured task packages/to-do lists, prioritize your tasks and set realistic timeframes and adjust them regularly when necessary. Go through the work packages regularly with the entire team and the individual stakeholders.

When prioritizing, you can use the Eisenhower principle to easily assess tasks according to urgency and importance and present them in a matrix.

Eisenhower Prinzip Matrix
Eisenhower Prinzip

Priority 1

have tasks, which are important and urgent.

Priority 2

have tasks, which are important but less urgent.

Priority 3

have tasks, which are urgent but less important.


Priority 4

have tasks that are not important and not urgent.

You have probably heard of the Pareto principle. This principle can also be applied to the assessment of priority. Prioritize the 20% of tasks that account for 80% of success.

If you assign clear priorities and realistic deadlines to your tasks, both you and your team will have a better understanding of what the next steps are. The entire project team benefits when tasks, priorities and deadlines can be clearly communicated. This saves time during coordination, creates transparency for other stakeholders and saves resources. However, priorities can also change - so remember to make adjustments in the event of change requests and regularly check that priorities are up to date.

Of course, you can also optimize your own daily time management to work even more efficiently.

Integrating time blockers for certain tasks into your working day can be particularly helpful. This will help you avoid multitasking and work on tasks in a more focused way, which in turn should save you time. You can also set time blockers between two meetings to ensure that you can document and follow up on the meeting before moving on to the next one.

1 to 2 liters of water per day
1 to 2 liters of water per day

Include short breaks in your daily schedule to maintain your productivity and concentration.

Make sure that you eat and drink enough during your breaks. Your body and brain need nutrients to function optimally. A balanced diet and 1 to 2 liters of water per day are therefore very important for your productivity.


Walkolutions in our WIC Office
Walkolutions in our WIC Office

Regular exercise is just as important. Try not to sit at your desk all day. In our office, for example, you can stand at any desk or use our Walkolutions. These are treadmills that allow you to go for a walk in the office even when it's raining. If it's not raining outside, I always recommend a short walk. A wide view and enjoying the fresh air - a break like this can simply work wonders.

Sebastian with the noise-cancelling headphones
Sebastian with the noise-cancelling headphones

Find out which background noise you work best with. Do you perhaps work more concentrated with quiet and calming background music? Or perhaps you need absolute silence? Or perhaps hard rock music?

Noise-cancelling headphones can definitely help you to isolate yourself from the surrounding noise - if you can't concentrate well in noisy environments.


One of our WIC Focus Spaces
One of our WIC Focus Spaces

Depending on what options are available in your company, you may also want to consider changing your workspace. If you don't get the necessary peace and quiet in your office, it might also make sense to set up a home office day every now and then and schedule all tasks that require a high level of concentration for this day.

There are many multi-person offices in our WIC office. In today's meeting culture, it can happen that many conversations on different topics take place at the same time and the background noise increases. To give everyone in the team the opportunity to concentrate on important tasks, we have created two additional individual offices: Our Focus Spaces. Anyone who needs a bit of peace and quiet for their work can retreat to these offices. I would like to take this opportunity to recommend this concept to every company.


Our bright and open office
Our bright and open office

It is also important for your concentration that you create a distraction-free working environment. If possible, remove anything that could distract you so that you can focus. A neat, tidy and inspiring environment is ideal.

Point with "focus time" for more concentration
Point with "focus time" for more concentration

If necessary, set clear communication rules about when you can be reached for questions and when you want to work undisturbed. Eliminate all beeps and distractions. You are welcome to agree with the team that if a dot or similar is placed on your desk, you are working in a focussed manner and do not want to be interrupted. We have so-called focus points in our team. Everyone who has this point with "focus time" on their desk wants to work undisturbed and is given the opportunity to be left alone. Anyone who has questions must remember them for later or write an e-mail that will be answered at a later time.

Processing your email inbox should also be structured. You don't have to read and process every incoming email immediately. This ensures that you are regularly torn away from your current activity and your concentration wanes. Instead, set yourself fixed times for processing your emails and use folders and tags to better organize and structure emails. My personal tip at this point is to sort away emails as soon as you have read / processed them. Emails that still have a to-do remain in my inbox until they have been dealt with.

Alexander in his self-reflection
Alexander in his self-reflection

It is also worth taking a few hours once to identify and eliminate time wasters. Reflect on yourself occasionally to find out whether your routines and procedures make sense or need to be adjusted. If you find yourself, for example, repeatedly sending files or logs that you could share more effectively on a sharepoint accessible to the team, then change this to save your capacities. This not only saves you time, but also creates transparency within the team and promotes communication. This one-off time investment will pay off in the long term, as it is usually not the large, one-off tasks that take up a lot of time, but rather the smaller processes that we carry out every day, sometimes even unconsciously, that cost us a lot of time in the long run. That's why you should use tools and technologies to automate recurring tasks. This will save you a lot of time in the long term.


I have one last tip and I know from experience that many people find it difficult to put it into practice: learn to say "no". Be prepared to turn down and / or delegate tasks that don't match your priorities or skills and concentrate on what is really important, what suits you and what can't be done by anyone else.

Tobias Wisst präsentiert Snacksize Projektmanagement

Good luck with our concentration tips.

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Your Tobias – see you next time!

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