To help capture the essence of my last two posts, here’s a summary-list of time stealers.
- Draw up a list of interruptions and make a plan how to eliminate those you consider unnecessary.
- Recognizing the problem is 90 percent of the solution.
- Interruptions are an intrinsic part of the working day. Social intercommunication at work is necessary. The question is just how much is necessary?
- It’s not possible to eliminate all interruptions but they can be directed.
- A degree of flexibility improves planning.
- Don’t plan you timetable with no room to move but make allowances for unexpected interruptions. Aim to manage unforeseen events without getting nervous.
- Substitute e-mail messaging for telephone calls and personal meetings whenever possible.
- Aim to keep office ‘chit-chat’ in check. Stand up when someone comes into your office or when speaking on the phone. By standing up you will be better able to monitor the duration of the interruption to your work.
- Value your own time – but also give value to the time and plans of others.
- Keep your desk clean and tidy and organize an appropriate desktop filing system.
- Learn to discard any unnecessary paperwork. Handle only one document at a time.
One of the biggest time stealers is meetings and since that is so common, next a post dedicated only on meetings.