Start the day and the week with a vision of what is in front of you, and make a plan.
- Very seldom does a day turn out exactly the way you expect it to. In fact, most of our frustration happens when inevitably, it doesn't. I have found that the more you become a student of your personality, and learn to manage your expectations, your job's demands, and your work style, the better outlook your day will have on a regular basis, and the easier it will be to realistically schedule things. Let's start with what I mean by your personality and expectations. All of us have a blend of traits that make up our personality. Traits such as being assertive and direct, enthusiastic and upbeat, compassionate and helpful, or accurate and logical.
Understanding your most common state of being will help you shift gears when you receive information that's different than you expected. This will also help you understand the most efficient way to schedule in the job culture you currently work in. Just like personality, job cultures vary. Some are more traditional, team-driven, an all-out sprint, very laid back, or a combo of these. Each type of culture delivers information differently and has varying expectations. This, of course, puts pressure on you to figure out how best to create a schedule, deliver that schedule, perform to that schedule, and adapt that schedule when need be.
Finally, we all work at different paces and styles. Some of us are very detail-oriented, some of us split the day up based on when we have the most energy or are the most creative. Others of us just put your heads down and plow forward. And we tend to want people to work the way we want them to. So say that with me: We tend to want people to work the way we want them to. Once we realize that isn't a reality, we can adjust our perspective. Now, I'm not saying that people can't be expected to adapt or fall in line with what needs to happen.
But it's important to know all the factors when it comes to scheduling. All of these descriptions are neither good or bad, or better or worse. They just are. What's significant is knowing what they are to you. This is key when it comes to scheduling your day and your team's day. You have to take all of this into account to be able to see your opportunities, plan for possible pitfalls, and know when you need to balance, and when you need to be diplomatic or direct. This obviously is missing the biggest X factor: our clients throw occasional curve balls and those incidentals seem to arrive at the most inopportune times.
Well, let's just take one thing at a time. Take a look at the following parts of the initial scheduling reality, and figure out what they are for you. What is your work personality, what is your work culture, what is your work style, and what are your coworkers' work styles? This will give you the basic ingredients you need to start framing the day.
- Creating a balanced workflow
- Increasing productivity around tight timelines
- Delivering bad news early
- Determining when you are most creative
- Daily habits that help you win
- Working with easily distracted employees and team members
- Bringing clients into the schedule