Guest Author - Dianne Walker
Looking to improve your time management? Is increasing your productivity a priority? Whenever time management gurus talk about increasing your productivity, it usually involves keeping a schedule and keeping track of your time. Believe it or not, it’s more than just about organization – it’s also about how you affect your co-workers time. Before you start another log, it’s time to take a look at how affecting your co-workers time has a direct effect on your own time management.
It all starts with stop wasting your co-workers time. How much time do you spend dealing unnecessarily with your co-workers? No, we’re not talking about being pleasant and sociable such as “good morning” or “good night”; we are talking about true time wasters which turn into time wasters for you. Do you really need to convene a meeting every time a new process comes along? Your co-workers would probably be just as happy to receive a clear, concise email on the “why” and “how-to”? This allows them time to digest the information and think of any questions they may have.
Calling unnecessary meetings are often a waste of time. The meeting may only last thirty minutes but consider the ten or fifteen minutes getting ready before hand and the travel time (even if it’s just down the hall – more so if it’s in another location). An additional meeting time waster is the obligatory schmoozing that starts and ends each meeting. The results? That thirty minute meeting has now eaten up ninety minutes of your day.
It is so much easier to just ask about a policy or procedure. Your co-worker is an excellent source, but imagine the possibilities if you learned to use the resources available to you. The problem is you are taking time from your co-worker’s day to ask for information which is readily at your fingertips. Looking up information yourself may not be the easiest route at first, but over time you find the quickest way is to find the information yourself instead of time wasted at someone else’s desk/ You may also find other interesting information along the way. You also learn to become self-sufficient for times when your co-worker is not just a shout away. Many times we tend to retain more information when we actually have to work to get it.
Ask for help, but delegate wisely. There comes a time in every professional’s life when they need help. Learn how to identify when help is truly needed and when being behind is a result of poor self-management.
What is time management? It’s more than learning to schedule your activities. It’s also about making more strategic choices in how you do your work.