When many people think of time management, they think of calendars, schedules, agendas, itineraries, etc. While it’s true that planning is one of the most important parts of time management, it’s certainly not the only part. Once you have everything planned out you must execute. In order to optimize the time you spend actually working on something, it’s important to maximize your potential. Here are a few tips for that:

1) Pair up and split up

Once you’ve planned out your day and figured out what you need to do, it’s time to get everyone on the same page. Get your team together and figure out who can help you and who needs to be working on other things. MAKE SURE EVERYONE IS CLEAR ON WHAT TO DO, and then everyone should be able to move forward. If you’re going to be working directly with someone, use that person to help you with the tasks you’re struggling with so you don’t waste time without getting results. If you’re going to be working on the same project but separately, schedule update times so you know where you are throughout the day.

2) Tune out and check in.

If possible, turn off your cellphone, email, social networks, etc so you don’t get interrupted during a critical thought process. LET PEOPLE KNOW THAT YOU’LL BE DOING THIS. Don’t let a coworker waste time trying to reach you by phone or email if you won’t be available that way. If you’ve been working directly with someone, ask them when they’d like to take a pause and evaluate each other’s work. This helps combat boredom and you have the added benefit of a different set of eyes possibly noticing any mistakes you’ve made or improvements you could make. If you’ve planned to check in with someone that’s working on the same project as you, do so and evaluate your progress and each other’s work.

No one truly works independently anymore so it’s important to learn how to work together and effectively execute as a team. Whether you’re working directly with a person sitting next to you or splitting up a task amongst multiple people, managing the time you spend working is of the utmost importance. It’s important to know how you and your team members work best in order to optimize your performance so take that into consideration throughout all stages of a project.