The greatest source of interruptions and time-stealers are ourselves. We ourselves create the interruptions. Individual self-discipline can be developed to link doing things with the time to do them: ’Do it today’ plans for work. Bear in mind your sectors of responsibility for the order of importance for doing things. If you want to make your own work more effective, plan today, the things you have to look after tomorrow. Set yourself a time limit for the deadline when the tasks have to be completed. Planning helps if you have the tendency to do too much, or are always aiming at perfection in what you do. Agree beforehand with yourself/customer/colleague, exactly what the required standard of work should be for each particular task, what is the desired level of quality. Make different types of aids for yourself that can help you in your work, for example, methods for filing, templates for letters etc. An untidy desk is a sign of disorganization. Heaps of papers pile up on the desktop and you say: ‘I’ll go through those when I have the time.’ Trying to find the necessary documents takes far too much time. Create a desktop filing system or other arrangement for your correspondence and documents. Keep only the documents for one particular task on your desk at a time and put all the others out of the sight. ‘Out of sight – out of mind’ is an expression that applies very well in this case.
Here you some picture of tidy desks. Some might think that people around these desks do not work at all, but people behind these desks clean their desks every night and when asking why they answer: “We have so many simultaneous activities that it is almost impossible to keep the priority order unless we start every day from a clean desk. It helps us to make our intentions into action and to keep up our priority order in tack”
Notice how you can concentrate on the question at hand better and your use of time becomes more effective. All things change in time. You change too. If you wish to become more effective in your use of time approve of the changes you will have to make. Relate to this change of working as an opportunity, and not as a threat. You have to learn how to say ‘No’ if you want to become the master of your use of time. ‘No’ doesn’t mean that you should always say no. Plan your own use of time in such a way that you are able to focus on achieving your goals based on your sectors of responsibility. By concentrating on essential issues you will be able to refuse to do something by politely saying: ‘No’. Keeping to your own plan demands self-discipline. Sometimes it is necessary to say no to your hobbies, to your friends and even to your own family.
One of the biggest time stealers of today is modern technology. In earlier articles you have been given good tips how to keep you @mails in tack.