Posted in leadership, team

Managing Your Priorities – Thwarting Time Bandits at Work with Email and Meetings ~ 2013-0319

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You are given 1,440 minutes each day

Each person is given the same 1,440 minutes every day to spend as they choose. These minutes cannot be saved or invested. They must be spent each day. Assuming you sleep the recommended 8 hours per day, exercise the recommended 1 hour per day and eat 3 meals per day at 30 minutes each day, you have already spent 630 minutes of your daily minute allotment, so what do you do with the remaining 810 minutes?

3 tips for saving time at work with email and instant messaging

1. Set up a specific time for checking your email and stick to it. Set your out of office to read, “I am currently working on an important project and will be checking my email at 9am, 12 noon, and 3pm. If you have an important matter that cannot wait until these times, please call or instant message me.”

2. Have people in your team or working groups use the 411/911 system.

a. If you are sending an email that requires information, add 411 at the beginning of the subject line. That way the recipients will know you need information from them and will know to respond.

b. If you are sending an email that requires action, add 911 at the beginning of the subject line. That way the recipients will know you need an action from them and will know to respond.

3. When away from your office, use the Out of Office tool to let people know when you will return and who they can contact in your absence. This will eliminate multiple emails from the same senders and will let them know why you are not responding.

6 Tips for saving time at work with meetings

1. Before attending, determine the purpose of the meeting and if your attendance is even necessary.

a. Ask yourself, do I need to be at this meeting or will reading the minutes do?

2. If you are holding a meeting,

a. Set a starting time and stick to it.

b. Set an ending time and stick to it.

c. Set an agenda, share it at least 24 hours before the meeting, and stick to it.

d. Do not allow side bars to take over your meeting. Create a “parking lot” list and add any items not on the agenda on it. If there is time at the end of the meeting, take up these subjects. If there is not time at the end of the meeting, determine if another meeting needs to be scheduled for these items and who should lead it.

e. Before adjourning, summarize the main points of the meeting, clarify next steps and action items, and set the time for the next meeting if one is required.

What quick tips do you have to save time at work?

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Author:

Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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