Being a virtual team member can add a level of difficulty to your efforts to focus on project work since the other team members aren’t physically around to help. What can you do? Let the best virtual team tool – Teambox – help! (We’re confident!)
Check out this scenario:
[Cell phone rings.]
Hi Joe, this is Matilda! How are you? What? Why am I calling? Ah, we had a telcon scheduled to discuss Project XYZ… did you have something different?
[Incoming call. Switches over.]
Joe, it’s Tom. Did you review that presentation that I sent to your email. I synced you with my iCal. You should have seen it on your phone’s calendar. Didn’t you check your Facebook? I sent you a message reminding you to check your calendar. I even tagged you in my Tweet! How could you have missed it?
[Office phone rings. Picks it up.]
Hey mister. I thought you told me you’d keep me in the loop on the new accounts? I haven’t received an email from you in a month. Hold on. I’m getting another call. It’s Matilda. She emailed me about a videoconference earlier. Did you know about this? I’m going to reschedule it. Get organized Joe!
Don’t you wish you could consolidate everything into one location? We have a solution.
Here is what you should do:
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
First and foremost: Keep your eyes on the prize. Hopefully, your team created a team manual that includes the project goal, team member roles and responsibilities, guidelines or rules for how the team would operate together among other agreements (see Teambox blog post Our Guide to Managing Virtual Teams).
And, if y’all are making the most of the best virtual team tool, Teambox, this team manual is readily available to all team members. Under the “Files” tab, you can upload the manual directly or take advantage of Teambox’s integration with the best cloud storage platforms (Google Drive, Dropbox and Box.) Everything you need is at your fingertips!
Start your day by rereading the project goal! Do this until the goal is internalized. Knowing where you are going helps you make informed decisions on how to get there.
The Best Virtual Teams Plan the Work
Your team should collaborate to create an action plan that includes tasks and deadlines. Next, assign those tasks to team members. Now let Teambox help you manage your assignments. Use block scheduling. Set consistent times each week to login and see what needs to be done.
Look at your schedule, and block time for the task. Use Teambox to help keep track of progress on each task so that other team members stay informed.
Finally: Execute the Plan
Manage your own work behaviors. You set a specific time to work on the task – now do it. Experience the power of clear goals and an organized schedule. Now is not the time to check your email, respond to texts, login to Facebook, or make that dinner reservation.
Having trouble? Examine why. Was the task too large for available time? Keep making adjustments until your schedule is optimized for focused productivity.
Identify any barriers and then work to remove them. It is important to examine what went smoothly – did you turn off the phone, disable your email, or hang a “do not interrupt unless you’re on fire” sign on the office door? Identify what helped you stay focused so you can keep it up.
Share what you learned with your team so everyone can benefit!
Learn More About Other Virtual Team Strategies
Bottom line, we love to help you get things done and build the best virtual teams. Check out how to set deadlines and assign tasks on Teambox. You can also check out other blogs to guide you through virtual team time management techniques or blogs that simply help you build effective virtual teams.