A key reason why hackathons are so effective at generating new and innovative solutions is the time limitation. Typically hackathon participants are given around 24-48 hours to complete a task. Due to the time restriction, participants are encouraged to try new things in order to come up with new ways to do things. 

And while these time restrictions can be helpful when it comes to the final product, they can be rather difficult to deal with during the hackathon itself. When it comes to working under a time restriction, it’s not really about trying to work as fast as you can. Instead of trying to speed through the task, it’s important to manage your time as efficiently as possible. Now, this is easier said than done as time management during what may be a stressful event can prove to be tricky. To help you out with this, we’ve prepared three effective tips for managing your time during a hackathon.

Be Thorough With Planning

Failing to plan is basically planning to fail. Indeed, planning is the most important part of time management. Through planning, you’ll be able to break down the task into smaller parts. This will make the entire task easier to tackle as it’s easier to find the best solution when you’ve isolated each element of the task. Being thorough with your plan also allows you to estimate how much time you’ll have per task. This will help give you an idea of which tasks you’ll have to accomplish quickly and which tasks you’ll have the time to experiment with. Be sure to keep everyone updated 

Don’t Hesitate to Delegate Tasks

Remember, you don’t have to do everything yourself. All the hackathon participants have unique strengths and can contribute to the end goal.  One quality that all good leaders possess is that they know when to delegate tasks and when to do things themselves. While you may be the best person to do a specific job, your expertise may be better utilized in other aspects of the task. For times like this, it’s best to delegate the task that others are fully capable of doing and go where you are needed instead. 

Learn When to Settle

While we understand that you may be a perfectionist, it’s crucial that you understand that sometimes you will have to settle for good rather than perfect. This is especially true when you’re working under time restrictions. The time you save when you do this can literally determine whether you succeed or you fail. At the end of the day, the end results are more important than code quality.

Managing Your Time Requires Effort

Managing your time during hackathons can require a lot of work. Despite how tedious this all may seem, the end results speak for themselves. By learning and executing proper time management, you put yourself in the best position to succeed. Be sure to keep all these tips in mind for your next hackathon as it may just be the difference-maker that you need.

If you’re thinking about participating in a hackathon, we’ve got you covered! Hackathon.com is the largest online hackathon community in the world. We’ve connected over 2000 hackathon organizers with our 10 million member innovators from all over the world. Check out our events to see which hackathon fits your goals and join our community of hackers!