Time Management - How to deal with time snatchers?
Are you able to deal
with time snatchers, most people don't, How about you? Are you able to
keep your head above water when other folks start making waves, or do
you tend to catch the stress?
The Three Little Words That Can Steal Your life
The phone rings. You
snatch it before it can ring again.
Are you busy? the voice on the other end asks.
No! Im just sitting here waiting for your phone call.
Is this is the good time to talk?
Theres never a good time to talk!
Got a minute?
Ive got the same minute you do! What do you want to do with it? Maybe youve been tempted to answer that way. But youre a conscientious and caring human being. Youve learned what the customer
Is always right and that everybody, including your colleagues are in one way or another customer. So, instead of sarcasm or confrontation, you probably reply with something along the lines of,
Nows fine or fire away or how may I help you?
Youve just signed a blank check. Now the caller gets to fill in the amount. Those three innocent little words-got a minute?-may be stealing your Life, a few minutes at a time.
You can stop this time-erosion, and you can probably do it without hurting anybodys feelings. But hurt feelings or not, you need to take back control of your day, one (got a) minute at a time.
Lets take it from the top, form the moment somebody asks, got a minute? and see if we can work out a response someplace between, why, sure. Take all you want and buzz off.
Whats wrong with buzz off?
It wont win you many friends or customers-and influence people, of course. But beyond that, it may be inappropriate. You may want and need to have the conversation being offered you.
You have the right to decide.
Thats the key to effective time management in a sentence. You have the right to decide how you spend your time, which is to say that have the right to decide what youll do this minute.
To make an intelligent
decision, you need two critical pieces of information:
1. What dose the caller wants to talk about?
2. How much time does the caller want to talk about it?
When you have this information, you can decide if and, if so, how long to talk.
You have the right to ask.
In fact, youre not very smart if you dont.
There are lots of ways to do it. How may I help you? is a good one, since it focuses on the needs of the caller while eliciting the information you need. You can no doubt come up with several more to fit various situations. If you need to, write them down on a 6 x 9 cards and keep them by the phone a s a reminder and a cue card until you feel natural asking.
What about the Old standby, No?
Is it ever okay simply to answer Got a Minute? with No? Of course you get to decide. Remember? If you really dont have a minute, No is the right as well as the accurate response. You can follow it up by buying a little time ( Can I get back to you in about half an hour ?) Or by setting a specific time to talk. That way, youve asserted control over your schedule, which is to say, your life.
Note: though, that youve still singed a blank check: youve just postdated it, you still dont know what the conversation is to be about , and so you still dont know if you really want or need to have the conversation at all.
The Golden Rules Applied to the Three Little Words
If you practice effective responses to Got a Minute long enough, youll train of your frequent interrupters to ask the right question in the first place, a question that will supply the information you need to answer it .
I need about five minute to discuss the Aarons Project with you. Is this a good time?
How about you? Is that the way you open a conversation, or are you as guilty of the Got a Minute? gaff as every one else? Get in the practice of asking as you would be asked. Youll get a lot better response. But dont bother trying to teach the rest of the world to practice proper etiquette in the work place. Youre in charge of your life, not theirs. Besides, You probably wont convert anybody, and the effort wont make you very popular .consider this: it may be somebody elses fault for asking the wrong question, but its your responsibility to take care of your own time.
Recovering from the Take A Meeting Syndrome
Some where along about the middle of the 1980s folks stopped merely talking to each other? When ever two or more are gathered in the work place, its a meeting.
We dont even just meet any more. We have a meeting or take a meeting. Raise the level of rhetoric and you raise the apparent stakes. We need to have a meeting some how sounds much more important than Got a Minute .
But summit conference or casual chat, you still have the same basic right to decide whether you want to have, or take, or do it.
Its Okay to Drawn a Blank:
Where is it written that thou shall fill up every space on the calendar? Even if youre doing a great job asking for the information you need before committing to a meeting or even a conversation, you still may be winding up with a crammed calendar and a ton of work to lug home each night.
What sots of things
go in to those blank slots?
· Time to do paperwork youve been doing nights and weekends.
· Time to initiate instead of just reacting
· Time to think
· Time to read
Yes, thinking and reading are permissible in the work place, even if you seldom see much of either going on. Theyre also two of the most important tasks you can perform to keep yourself effective and productive.
Thats right, you really can schedule downtime. If an emergency crosses its way in to your carefully planned day, your down time becomes the buffer zone, saving you from meltdown. And if nothing comes up, you can always find a good use for that time, right?
tip for effective calendar maintenance: get a calendar with wider time
slots. If your planner gives you 10- minutes increment during the business
day, get one that gives you 15- Minutes slots. If youre using 15s
consider going to 30s. The fewer slots you have to fill, the less
likely be to over fill the day.
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