Optimum utilization of work time

You are engrossed in making a report and your colleague just drops by for chit-chat. However this distraction is going to take at least 15 minutes of your precious time. While some disruptions are a part and parcel of the job, others are sheer waste of time. They rob you of your precious concentration. Here are a few suggestions to tackle these time wasting interruptions:

Ensure that you do not entertain any distractions or interruptions while you are working on important projects. Tell your colleagues that you do not want to be disturbed until you finish the task in hand or tactfully you can also tell them that your boss wanted the papers urgently and you are working on them. Prioritise your tasks considering the entire activities you have to complete.

Over a period of time you will get to know who actually comes with serious issues and who frivolous time waster is. Develop ways to deal with such people. Set guidelines as to who should you attend to first and whom should you speak to later.

When people come to your desk with an issue, ask them what it is about and how long will it take. Inform them about your priorities and deadlines and what you can do for them in your given time constraints. Sometimes, it is easier to answer their questions and get back to work. So say something like, “I just have five minutes. How can I help you?”

Whether it is your boss or your teammate coming to you with an urgent matter, inform him/her about what you are working on. Ask which work needs to be finished first if the boss is visiting you. In most cases bosses are practical and visit their team mates only there is urgency.
When some one is taking up too much of your time, keep glancing at your watch to hint your displeasure.

Avoid answering unnecessary calls or constantly checking e-mails every hour. Don’t hold meetings at your desk, that way you can leave them at your discretion.

Always make a mental note of where you were before you left the task or write down a few lines in your note pad. This will make it easier for you to resume the project. Follow the office protocol and don’t interrupt others or stop by ‘just to chat’ with your colleagues during regular work hours.

After doing the needful in preventing wastage of time, you must also plan and organize your work for optimum utilization of time. You must have experienced high pressure situations at work many a times. At that point of time you really want to be left alone and concentrate on whatever has to be completed. But if you misbehave with your colleagues at that point of time, that is just not right. To deal with such situations in a better way you can,

* Before reacting to any situation, take time to assess it and plan your response. Respond appropriately to a situation and do not react hastily.
* Focus on things, which you can control instead of worrying about things, which you have no power over.
* Drink lots of water. 8 glasses of water a day would help in keeping your body hydrated so that you can think coolly and function normally.
* Drink black tea. It can stimulate your thinking and also energise you. This is a good thing especially in high pressure situation wherein you might feel your energy being drained away physically or mentally. Discover many herbal tea recipes that can relieve stress and provide other health benefits.
* Take a five minute break. Just go out in the open for a stroll. This can act as a good stress buster.
* If you have a tight deadline to meet, then stop looking at the clock. Instead of that, focus on the task at hand. This way you will be more likely to finish it on time than you would if you waste your time in unnecessarily getting worried or constantly looking at the time.
* Enjoy yourself. Find something interesting in any work that you are doing and focus on it. If you enjoy your work, you fill feel less stressed. You won’t feel tired so easily.–

  • D M K Murthy

    It is very good posting. It is quite common in work place and therefore, it is everybody’s experience. It will help to takle the situation correctly.

  • V B Hans

    Very useful tips.