How to Use Project Time More Efficiently

Author: Eugenija Steponkute
Published: 08/04/2024

In this article, we will be touching on the subject of time management. Namely, how to use project time more efficiently and deliver better results every time. There is no limit to improvement once you figure out the right framework.

Time equals money. The saying is true in many situations, and project management is one of the places where it is literal. Every project manager strives to maximise the efficiency of every minute, but it’s often a challenge many struggle with. Simply put, plans tend to go awry very easily, ideas that look great on paper are hard to translate to real life and, before you know it, a lot of time is wasted on things with insignificant contributions. Many accept it as part of project management. But it doesn’t have to be that way. 

There is a way to improve your efficiency when utilising project hours. It’s a trusted scheme that works every time, delivering better results the more you use it. Of course, results take time and practice to emerge, but this is a way we swear by. We don’t like gatekeeping our knowledge, and so we are happy to share it with you.

How Can Project Efficiency Be Improved?

There are many ways to improve how efficient your project is. Here are some of our tips:

  • Have a defined goal and metrics to track;

  • Map out your team structure in advance;

  • Establish communication channels; 

  • Create an environment for teamwork;

  • Put a risk management strategy in place;

  • Manage expectations;

  • Collect and analyse relevant data;

  • Break the tasks down;

  • Utilise document management;

  • Stay on top of reporting. 

We strongly suggest implementing as many of these tips as possible. However, there are some we believe you should prioritise. Let’s talk about them.

Take the Preparations Seriously

It’s almost impossible to use your time efficiently when the project is in full swing and you haven’t planned all ins and outs of it. Things do go wrong. And you need to be ready for them. Preparing for the good and the ugly is absolutely crucial if you want to make use of every minute you can. So, what are the steps?

Define What and Who You Need

The first step of starting any project is setting up the objective. Having a goal is vital for this is the cornerstone of the entire process, dictating its course and the resources needed. It has to be well defined, potentially supported by multiple metrics you will follow and KPIs for them. Equipped by that, you can begin mapping a detailed route from the starting point to completion, gaining an understanding of what will be needed for this journey. 

We recommend starting with an inventory list of the tools you have, to have a centralised look at which ones could be used. Think outside the box too - just because software is marketed for a specific purpose, doesn’t mean it can’t be used elsewhere. This will help you see what equipment is missing, so you have time to research your options and settle for the best. Use the same approach when building the project team too. However, keep in mind you have two priorities there: the skillset and how well will they be capable of working together. 

Analyse Past Data

Before jumping into the future, take time to examine the past. It’s very possible your past data holds valuable insights that will help you utilise your project time more efficiently. Namely, you will have a better understanding of what tasks tend to drain more of your team’s time. Such data can influence your decision on what tasks should be prioritised, broken down or have more workers allocated to them.

Data collected from previous projects can also help you learn more about your team members and their individual skill sets. Especially those that aren’t very prevalent in their day-to-day lives so they would otherwise go unnoticed. You may save a lot of money by not having to hire a contractor because, for example, your marketing specialist is also very skilled in website building. This is just one example of how analysis of past results can unlock information crucial to maximising the time efficiency of the upcoming project. What you will discover largely depends on what the project was.

Learn As You Go

Despite it being difficult to implement changes as the project progresses, this is also a learning experience. Remember, everything you record throughout the process can become crucial for the success of your next project.

Time Tracking and Document Sharing

As we’ve already discussed, past data is a golden mine when it comes to bettering your future project time efficiency. However, as a rule, you need to record it. Most tools automatically gather information the more you use them. However, since we already live in a world with too much data, it is also important to understand which data streams are relevant for what tasks. To become better at using project time, we recommend time tracking and document sharing.

It is pretty easy to see how tracking time via timesheets or digital timers can capture the data you will need in the future. It is directly recording your team’s time expenditure across different tasks, the metric most critical for future improvements. Document sharing, on the other hand, is less obvious but just as important. File upload and editing dates recorded in the system are a great indication of completion time, the average number of updates, time spent between handovers and many more. As we’ve already said - think outside the box!

Thorough Reporting Made Easy

One major downfall of having too much data is that it’s easy to process, making it impossible to analyse. There were days when it was done manually as a form of common practice, but that’s no longer possible in the age of data overload. Even if you have your streams narrowed down and the exact metrics tracked, putting all your information into reports can still take a lot of time. And by the time you’re done analysing it, you have to do it all over again.

That is the best-case scenario - having no time for anything else because you are stuck in a reporting loop. More commonly, however, you will end up with incorrect data and time wasted on a tedious task. Using software to collect information as you go can help in this regard too. Namely, it will use the data collected (and/or added by you, in some cases) and put it into reports for you within seconds. Most solutions will let you choose your preferred format of display too, making it easy to filter, visualise and analyse. 

Always Room to Grow

The biggest benefit of this framework is that it’s not a one-off. It is an ongoing process that gets more and more polished every time you go through it. It takes commitment and consistency, but we promise, it pays off in the end.

Reflection Leads to Success

Things go right, and things go wrong - this is just the course of life. However, reflecting on both successes and losses can make the ratio more favourable to your business. Identifying gaps in your strategy and performance is the first step to bridging them. And understanding your strengths helps you capitalise on them. In other words, reflection is necessary to find patterns that will help you improve moving forward.  

Time tracking is a great tool for that. It gives you a clear idea of where was the project time used in the first place and whether your team was as efficient as it could be. A thorough analysis of that can help you plan better in the future as well as shed light on the potential individual strengths of your workers so you can allocate them better. All in all, you can’t always compare yourself to other businesses, given each of them is different from yours. But you can always compare your past self to your present, improving your future. 


Maximising project time efficiency is not an easy task. Especially if you don’t know where to start. However, you don’t have to overthink it, not when a fool-proof framework exists. Begin with defining your goals as it will give you a better visibility of what and who are needed to reach them. Next, turn to the past data. This way you will be able to understand where to improve and what your team already excels at. And to make sure you have plenty of data to review later, utilise time tracking and document management throughout your project.

Digital tools aren’t just good for helping you run various tasks. They are great for both collecting and analysing data. Most are equipped with a reporting module that will provide you with a digestible and often customisable format to analyse. These are great for reflecting on your past achievements and mistakes, that is the cornerstone of your success moving forward. The framework for using project time more efficiently is defining your goals, connecting them with your past experience, introducing changes, collecting new data and then repeating the process.

Time to give this framework a shot. We will support you.

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