• Clare Eager

Time Management gets out of control

Published in the Peterborough Telegraph on 27 May 2021

People have preferences on how they manage the timings of their ‘to do’ list. There are those that are ‘deadline planners’, and there are those who are ‘deadline deliverers. Both of these types are people who prepare, consider others in delivering the task, effectively and efficiently on time, just in different ways.

Putting two people together, one of each preference, with a joint ‘to do’ list can cause conflict, I am sure we can all relate to it within our workplace, it might even be the colleague sitting next to you – socially distanced of course, that has the opposite preference to yours to achieving tasks. Conflict can lead to frustration and severely impact on vital communication.

To reduce conflict in this area, there are some key things to keep in mind and consider when either one of these types of employee is faced with a task.

1. On time, every time. With a lot more meetings being held on-line rather than in person, the same etiquette should still be shown. If the meeting starts at 10 am, be prepared for 9.55 am and log onto the call. If a colleague has gone to the effort of scheduling time with you, the decent thing is to be present right from the start. Clearly there will be exceptions, but try not to make it the rule.

2. My urgent is not necessarily urgent for the person you are needing help from. Things that can help keep this conflict at bay, is understanding the task fully and considering what input is needed from colleagues that will provide them with the time to provide you with the information that you need, to be able to meet your task deadline.

3. Are you being a ‘hogger’? This is a colleague who has been offered various different meeting times but not communicated a decision about which option best fits. The colleague who has offered the options now has various ‘pencilled’ commitments in their schedule and is therefore unable to allocate the time to other tasks or colleagues. The secret here is communication, if you can’t commit straight away, tell the colleague what is preventing you, and you may even be able to narrow down the options at that stage.

Time management is all about what you are in control of, and respecting and responding to colleagues preferences.

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