IT managers and admins typically have a list of laid out tasks that should be accomplished each week. Unfortunately, these tasks are not always done efficiently. This might be due to added errands, distractions with technology, or other tasks that take precedence.

All of these distractions and added tasks waste admin’s time, manager’s time, and lead to the company losing money. 

Most office managers and admins work long hours, but if more could be done in the same amount of time then it would benefit everyone on the team. Time is important, and saving time when you can is essential for a productive IT team. 

How IT Managers Spend Most of Their Time

Meetings

IT managers are responsible for various activities in an IT organization. Managers are required to determine the needs of the organization and implement computer systems that fulfill those needs.

In addition to fulfilling the computer system needs of an organization, IT managers also plan and direct activities related to electronic data processing, analyzing systems, computer programming, managing backup, user help systems, and security.

Responsibilities of IT Managers

  • Analyze workflows and establish priorities for the team.
  • Develop standards, create benchmarks, and set deadlines.
  • Spend time in meetings with other managers, supervisors, and department heads, as well as vendors.
  • Resolve problems and analyze what can be done to prevent them in the first place.
  • Coordinate all project plans and activities.
  • Review the work of programmers and analysts to avoid mistakes.
  • Provide users with technical support.

What is the Most Time Spent on?

Although IT managers are responsible for many different activities, there are a few that take more time than others. The most daily time of an IT manager is spent on developing priorities and planning strategies for the business. Additionally, a huge amount of time is spent simply interacting with other staff members or company employees. 

Being social is important, and often interacting with employees is based upon supporting the team. Despite this, in certain situations, it seems as though some of this time could be better spent on other things. This might include analytics and business intelligence and IT security. Especially because analytics and business intelligence is usually the main concern of the organization.

How IT Admins Spend Most of Their Time

The primary role of an IT Admin is to maintain the company’s computer infrastructure. Essentially this means that admins maintain networks, take care of servers and security programs, while also installing, configuring, and supporting an organization’s LAN and WAN.

Responsibilities of IT Admins

  • Perform data backups.
  • Manage disaster recovery operations.
  • Replace problematic components if necessary.
  • Provide protection against data, software, and hardware.
  • Diagnose, troubleshoot, and resolve hardware issues.
  • Take care of software, or network and system problems.
  • Plan and implement network security measures.
  • Operate master consoles that monitor the performance of networks or computer systems.
  • Monitor network performance and implement adjustments when necessary.

What is the Most Time Spent on?

Daily activities for an IT admin might include maintaining virus protection software and taking care of technical support issues. This might include anything from voice mail systems, or maintaining hardware systems. 

IT admins are also typically utilized as someone who does a lot of the extra work around the office. Whether that is upgrading new hardware and software or diagnosing solutions. Much of an IT admins time is spent on the phone and often it is a wonder if these calls are scheduled efficiently.

Time Saving Tips

Tip 1: Use Task Management Software

If you are an IT manager then you should already be using a form of task management software for your team. Software such as Jira will allow you to prioritize tasks and utilize third-party integrations. 

As a manager, you cannot always be sure that your team is willing to put in the work to organize their schedules. With task management software you can do the organizing for them. 

This software is not only incredible for organizing everything for your entire team, but it also allows you to be paperless!

Tip 2: Schedule the Week in Advance

The best way to avoid wasting time is by planning your schedule in advance. Although planning your entire week’s schedule can be great, if it is not possible you can choose to do so daily as well. 

Planning your schedule in advance helps you to visualize your short term and long term goals. You can have goals for the end of the week and allow your daily schedule to build up to that weekly goal.

By planning your schedule you will know exactly what needs to be done and when it should be completed by. Whether planning your schedule means doing it every night the night before, or every Sunday night, this is essential. 

Tip 3: Set Your Phone to Greyscale

Smartphones might be considered the largest waste of time in the office for IT managers and T admins. Different apps will send you notifications throughout the day. Whether this is for a message, a game, or a hope that you will engage with their application.

Although it may not be possible to turn off your phone completely due to needing it for work purposes, there is a different option. When you receive a notification it pops up as a red number on that app. The best way to avoid looking at these is to change your phone to greyscale.

You can even go one step further with this and place it on “Do Not Disturb Mode”. If someone needs to contact you regarding an emergency, then can state that it is urgent in their messaging which will create a notification.

Tip 4: Give Yourself a Time Limit

If you have specific tasks that need to be completed, give yourself a specific amount of time to complete them. Take 25, 30, or 40 minutes and dedicate yourself to that task. Do not check your phone or any other messages while working on that task. Focus and push to finish it. If you do not finish the task, take a break, move on to something else and then turn back to it later.

Tip 5: Schedule in Breaks

Take a break

It is wonderful to dedicate yourself to your job and work hard, but if you do not schedule breaks you may find yourself taking them anyway. Rather than randomly take 15 minutes for coffee and allow it to turn into an hour, schedule your breaks. 

In this case, you can also set a timer while allowing yourself a specific amount of time for a break. Similar to recess in school, once the timer rings, go back to work refreshed and ready to focus.

Tip 6: Say No When You Need to 

Sometimes co-workers or team members can be a bigger distraction than anything else. If you are consistently asked by different people for help then you might be taking away from your time on other tasks.

Although it is important to support your team, sometimes you need to learn when to say no. Especially if you are working on managing time more efficiently.

Tip 7: Use a Ticketing System

One of the biggest time usages for IT managers is when team members come to you with their issues, but this can also happen with IT admins as well.

Ticketing systems such as Zendesk allow you or a team member to create a ticket for the problem at hand. If there are things to discuss it can be commented on the ticket. Once the problem is addressed and completed, it is marked as “finished”. This occurs without any other conversation required, and a lot of time will be saved. 

Tip 8: Use an Internal Communication System

Internal messaging apps are not only better than email in regards to features but also help you to avoid distractions. Internal communications systems such as Slack offer integration with third-party apps, allow you to centralize your communication, and are less messy than email correspondence.