Managing Your Time at WorkBy Julie Jansen
A common complaint many people have about work is that they are extremely overwhelmed by tasks, projects, meetings and e-mail. While you may not be able to control all of these things, there are many things you can take charge of so that your time is more your own.
- Plan more. Spend quality time each week thinking about your long-term plans and goals and the results you're accountable for. Schedule time on your calendar to do this just as you would schedule a meeting.
- React less often. Check your e-mail less frequently and identify times during the day when you don't answer your phone. If someone asks you to come to a meeting, try to negotiate this by offering an alternative time or asking to attend only the portion that involves you.
- Stop "reinventing the wheel." There isn't much that someone else hasn't already tried. Instead of starting at square one with an idea, task or project, find the person or people who have already achieved what you are attempting and learn what the shortcuts are.
- Prioritize constantly. As thorough as your plan may be, the fast pace of the world necessitates the need to assess your priorities regularly. Be careful not to prioritize your work based exclusively on the demands of others.
- You can't possibly meet your goals and accomplish tasks by
yourself. You need other people; your colleagues, your boss, your
clients and the people you care about to help you. In order to
influence, delegate to and collaborate with other people, there are
several important skills and characteristics that you should
- Communication skills. People tend to underestimate the amount of time wasted on poor communication, whether oral or written. The most persuasive and charismatic people are great communicators. Not only are they articulate but they also take the time to learn what is important to the other person and appeal to whatever that is. They communicate using the most effective vehicle.
- Listening skills. Although many of you may think you are good listeners, more often than not, you are thinking about what you are going to say or do next rather than focusing on the message the other person is trying to deliver to you. Poor listening can contribute to wasted time.
- Empathy. The better you are able to understand someone's else's agenda and walk in their shoes, the more effectively you will be able to work together to accomplish your goals in a timely manner.
- Find someone who seems to manage their time effectively and ask that person to share his or her techniques with you in exchange for helping them with something that is challenging to them.