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Tips for Managing Your Time at Work
Your boss wanted that financial report yesterday, your phone is ringing off the hook, your inbox is maxed-out and people keep walking up to your desk. How do you handle it all? Tammy Walterman, a Cold Spring, KY-based certified life coach with Coach to First Class, shares some tips for keeping your sanity.
First, remember your home life reflects on your professional life and vice-versa. If you can stay organized in one area, you can stay organized in the other. If youre one of those women who stand in front of her closet every morning trying to decide what to wear, try picking out your clothes the night before.
Two great ways to stay organized is by keeping a schedule and making to-do lists. You can keep your calendar on paper or in your computer or phone, whatever works for you. Just make sure you know where you are supposed to be and when. Take a few minutes at the beginning or end of each day to review what you have finished and what still needs to be done. It will give you a place to begin each day and you will be of to a running start.
We think multi-tasking is a great thing, and it can be. But it can also keep you from paying enough attention to what you are doing. Try to stay focused on one task at a time. For example, it may seem like a good idea to check your e-mail while you are talking on the phone, but you wouldnt be paying enough attention to whomever is on the phone and you may accidentally delete an important e-mail while you are distracted.
Speaking of, e-mail is a major distraction both at work and at home. Pick a certain time of day to check your e-mail and stick to it. Its easy to get wrapped up in answering e-mails as soon as they come in. But if you schedule certain times to reply, youll save time and be able to get more done each day.
How to Get Noticed at Work
Youve toiled away in your cubicle for years thinking that just keeping your nose to the ol grindstone would get you somewhere. When you feel like your boss doesnt even know you exist, try these tips from Walterman.
Look at the people who are being promoted. Analyze what they do, how they do it and how they interact with their co-workers. Take note of what they do differently and try out some of their practices for yourself.
If your boss asks you to do something, do it. Thats simple enough, right? But what if your boss wants you to finish that big proposal, and its going to take working weekends for the next month to do it? DO IT! Your boss wants to know that you are someone that can be counted on. As your working those Saturdays away, just think that someday you will be the one delegating and heading home on the weekend.
So youre boss wants to know exactly how many black patent leather stilettos are at the store in Albuquerque, and, of course, you have no idea. Dont tell your boss, Gee, I dunno. Instead, say that youll find out and let them know by the end of the day.
Remember to always be accountable for your own actions. Dont blame the fact that a deadline was missed on someone else. Try to find a way to fix the problem and make the deadline yourself. It will demonstrate to your boss that you take initiative and are reliable.
Cut Commuting Costs
If you drive your car to work every day the cost for gas alone can be enough to make you have to skip vacation for a year. Compound that with wear and tear, depreciation and regular maintenance on your car and it almost doesnt seem worth it. Good thing for you, there are several options that can help save you money.
Basic things like keeping your tires properly inflated and keeping unnecessary weight out of your car can improve your gas mileage. Also, try leaving a little earlier each day to avoid having to idle in that bumper-to-bumper traffic that also raises your blood pressure every day.
You can also look for ways to avoid driving or at least drive less. If its available to you, take the Metro or Tank. Rates and schedules are available on their Web sites. Then you can even get a little reading or work done on the bus while youre on your way!
If public transportation is not available to you, look for someone to join you in a carpool. Ask around to see if any of your co-workers live near you and offer to take turns driving. If you cant find anyone, you can use a free service like RideShare to hook you up with people near you who are looking to carpool partners.