Time Management: How to meet deadlines in your job?
We all face interruptions at workplace. Which, most of the time, disturb our to-do-list and work schedule. Most of us are not very efficient in time management at work as by the end of the day; we realize that the time has sneaked away, leaving us with unmet deadlines. Some workplace interruptions may not be in our control and can disturb our schedule and productivity. Things like a colleague stopping by to have a chit chat or seeking help, unscheduled meeting with boss/colleague, phone calls, unsolicited enquiries /consultancy etc.
All these interruptions can disturb the focus or thought processes and ultimately the work schedules. Following are some tips which can be used to handle work interruptions.
1. Prioritize – There may be 10 tasks to accomplish for the day. Divide them in the category of important and urgent and accordingly assign time. Try to finish the important tasks in the morning hours where the chances of interruptions are comparatively less.
2. Create and Share your schedule- While creating timesheet for the day keep buffer time to accommodate unscheduled urgent business requirements such as unplanned meeting/work assigned by your boss. You can use google calendar or Microsoft outlook to share this schedule of yours so that your co-worker/boss knows when you are free.
3. Learn to say NO – If you have to deliver a report in an hour’s time and someone walks to you for a casual chat or some favour and you know this may be something unimportant. Hence, to meet the deadlines and keep your schedule in line sometimes you have to say ‘No’ to people or postpone a little bit. However you can choose a delicate way to say that.
4. Keep a check on Email and phone calls – Instead of keeping your outlook/personal mail open and responding to every email instantaneously, keep a fixed time to check and respond to emails like twice or thrice a day. Same goes with calls also. You can avoid unknown calls on mobile to keep the momentum of work going on and respond to them during lunch hour, coffee break etc.
5. I am in the middle of something – Don’t hesitate to say this whenever you get any interruption and you are working on something important. There is no problem in doing that. You also can add that I shall get back to you after this work or time. This way they won’t come and disturb you instead you can go to them whenever you have free time.
6. Rescheduling – However after managing the interruptions efficiently by above points, still your schedule may get affected little bit. So you can always reschedule your work a little.