As you’re probably all-too-aware, time is a precious commodity! It’s a resource which can be used very well, or very badly. In construction, time management and organisation can enable you to get more done on site, or mean that you don’t need to start a job early in the morning or finish late in the evening – or both!
Properly used time management in construction is vital to any successful project. When it comes to big, complex projects, productive use of time and being organised are particularly important to completing high-quality work, which is on time, and makes a profit.
If any deadlines are missed it can result in a loss of income, harm relationships with clients, and do damage to the reputation of your construction firm. Because trades get paid hourly or on a daily rate, time keeping in construction is even more important. Efficient use of labour and other resources is essential for keeping within budget.
Plan and schedule properly
A big portion of time management in construction needs strong planning and scheduling skills. A project’s schedule acts as a guide which details when contractors are expected on site, what hired plant needs to be in place, when materials need delivering, when a particular activity needs to start, and when it will reach completion. This means that planning and scheduling are essential elements which you cannot afford to ignore.
Obviously, most of the planning happens before construction starts. However, daily progress should be constantly managed to make sure that tasks are completed according to plan.
If construction project milestones aren’t kept to, or unforeseen circumstances happen, all employees working on the project should be informed immediately. Taking proactive measures will help to avoid further delays. You should consider what’s best for the short-term, for example that day or the rest of the week. Then you can reassess and amend the dates so they align with the final completion date in mind.
Multi-tasking might seem like an effective use of your time, but in fact it often reduces efficiency. For example, although switching between tasks might take a few seconds each time, it will add up to a lot of time if you multitask frequently.
Another downside of multitasking is that the chances of you making a mistake are likely to rise. This is a logical consequence, as you’re not fully focusing when you’re multitasking. When doing several things at once, your mind is divided between them so it’s only natural that your mistakes will multiply. So bear that in mind when you’re next trying to brief your team, finish an estimate, email a client, order some windows…all at the same time – whilst on site!
“To-do” lists can be lifesavers! However, if you’re not careful, they can also become so big and that you don’t know where to start. One technique to help you decide what to prioritise is to consider each task according to how importance and urgent it is. For example:
Immediate: Important tasks with defined deadlines (as well as anything overdue!)
Later: Important tasks with no defined deadlines
Delegate: Tasks that someone else can do
Delete: Tasks which aren’t crucial to the goal
Construction managers who are responsible for overseeing projects might need to deal with multiple projects and issues, often simultaneously. When dealing with competing demands, it’s important to prioritise and address the most critical aspects first.
Prioritising properly is essential to effective time management in construction. At the beginning of each workday, identify what you need to deal with first. After that, you should break up bigger jobs into smaller ones – that way they will become more manageable.
Stick to the schedule (as much as possible)
It goes without saying, it’s not always possible to stick to the schedule in the building industry. However, as much as it’s possible, you should try to. Use a schedule every day which consists of blocks of time for different tasks, with realistic timeframes. Sticking to it is the key to success.
Why not add small buffers of time between the tasks, so if one overruns, the overall schedule isn’t completely ruined.
Use technology to your advantage
One of the simplest ways you can improve your time management in construction is by using technology. The best tools often assist with repetitive tasks, allowing you to manage your work and the various deadlines. Is the health & safety paperwork time-consuming? How long does it take you to put a contract together? What about customer quotations? And project management? All these tasks can be addressed with good quality software programmes.
For instance, to pick the best project management software for your construction firm, consider what elements would benefit your team the most. Because of the occasional disconnect between operations staff and on-site workers, unrealistic expectations can impact a project’s schedule. If this sounds familiar, maybe there’s a gap in the way your firm communicates internally?
Another factor to consider is that if you choose to use a platform that provides opportunities to collaborate, this can often make it much easier to establish a logical timeline for your project.
HBXL’S Estimating Service can help!
In addition to the five tips above, there’s a way you can help yourself with one of the toughest tasks in construction: estimating! Yes there’s software like EstimatorXpress, but there’s also outsourcing. Why not free-up some of your time and delegate the task to HBXL’s Estimating Service? Our team of experienced estimators provide in-depth building industry knowledge and expertise, which enable them to produce estimates with an exceptionally high level of detail and accuracy.
As well as helping you to get more organised, here are some other reasons to use HBXL’s Estimating Service:
- We make sure it’s right! Our estimators take full care with your plans.
- Excellent value for money – Our estimating service will be one of the best value-for-money services you can buy for your construction business!
- In-depth knowledge – Our estimators have many years of building industry expertise and knowledge.
- Proven track record – Our customers strongly recommend us, with 97% saying they would use us again.
You’re under no commitment to go ahead when you call, so why not speak to one of our team today on 0117 916 7894. Or if you’re ready, you can upload your full set of plans to our plans uploader on the website. Let us do what we do best, so you can do the same!