Are you often used as the go-to person by other staff? If not managed, these interruptions can impact significantly on your work flow.
If you find yourself being pulled in different directions, STOP and ask yourself: “What is the main purpose of my job?” Everything flows on from that – how you use your time, who you’re available to, what you give your attention to etc.
Look at a typical week and analyse your effectiveness and efficiency. Are there weaknesses in your time management practices? Re-examine your routines, methods and processes, and decide whether they are productive or counter-productive.
Ask yourself, “Is this the best use of my time?” “Should I be doing this task or job right now (if at all)?”
- To free yourself to focus on other aspects of your role, identify which processes you complete can potentially be moved or handed over to others (with training if necessary).
- Handle interruptions and avoid being distracted by irrelevant tasks or details, e.g. other people’s dramas or extraneous information. Ask yourself, “Is it important that I know this?” Be assertive and focus on what’s important.
- If you are often behind in your work or continually working after hours, identify why – is it the workload, is it poor communication, is it unclear priorities etc.
- Take control when someone says, “Have you got a minute?” It’s never a minute, more like 15 minutes or more. You could say “How urgent is this? I’m working on a deadline”. Then choose a time which is more suitable.
- Focus on what matters and be ruthless in eliminating actions that are repetitive and unnecessary.