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- Reducing interruptions
- Dealing with feeling overwhelmed
- Responding to quick questions
- Making the most of meetings
- Following up
- Implementing a closed door, open calendar policy
Skill Level Appropriate for all
- Some individuals are blessed to be what I call focus masters. These are individuals who have never had any issue with time management whatsoever. The biggest challenge for these people is the disorganization of everyone else around them. I'd like to provide a few tips for you focus masters, to help you find a little more patience and guidance with how to deal with the struggles of others. First, be understanding of others. Most people are struggling with time management.
In fact, when I speak, I usually do a straw poll of the audience and find that 95% of them or more are having significant time management challenges. Just having that expectation in your mind will perhaps help you be more patient with others. Second, provide a clear when. And when I say when, I mean when you ask someone to do something, give them a deadline, give them a date of when you expect it from them. And if they ask you to do something, ask the same from them.
When do they want that from you. This will help both of you stay on track. Third, build buffer into your schedule. Now you may be perfect with your time management. However, because others aren't, they're very likely to interrupt you. If you build a little extra room, a little open space into your day, you'll be prepared when those inevitable interruptions occur. Fourth, provide reminders for people. This means that midway between the point at which an assignment is due, we want to just send out a little reminder.
Hey, looking forward to getting this from you. And perhaps, just the day before, we send another reminder. Remember, 95% or more of people are struggling with time management. Because you don't, you can help them out. And number five is follow up. Consistently, the day after an assignment is due, we want to follow up with people. Now, we want to do this always, not just when they didn't do the assignment, but when they did do it. That way you can compliment them or say, "Hey, thank you for being on top of this." The more other people see your example, the more they will expect it of themselves, that they can do better with time management.
And this will help recondition their behavior and their way of thinking, which will help them improve, as well.
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1. Time Management Tips
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