Successful project management hinges on good time management. Effective project managers avoid time-wasting exercises at all times and ensure that both their own time and the time of their resources is used productively.

Here are five useful tips to help you best utilise your time:

1. Break down your tasks

Breaking down your project into smaller tasks is an effective way to more accurately estimate how much time the project will take. By creating a well-defined list of tasks, they can be executed and removed from the list without wasting time. However, avoid breaking the tasks down too far and putting yourself into a position where you have to micromanage each one.

2. Avoid micromanagement

Getting too involved in the microscopic details of a project is the quickest way to lose sight of the big picture and waste valuable project time. Leave the details to your team and concentrate on ensuring that your project reaches a successful conclusion.

3. Overestimate

When creating your project schedule, make sure to add in some extra time to your estimates. This padding will compensate for any unforeseen problems that crop up throughout the project and ensure that you don’t fall behind on the schedule.

4. The 80/20 Rule

Known in project management as the Pareto Principle, the 80/20 rule is a handy guiding rule for good time management. The concept is that roughly 80% of the outcomes of your project are generated by 20% of the inputs. In other words, 20% of the tasks you perform during your project will produce 80% of the results, so it is important to identify and focus on those activities rather than spending too much time on the less important ones.

5. Use the right tools for the task

Before you start your project, assess your needs and ensure that you have the right tools and resources available. Using the right tools means that your tasks can be completed quickly and effectively, while the wrong tools will slow down your entire project.