My SCRAPBOOK (సేకరణలు): A COLLECTION of articles in English and Telugu(తెలుగు), from various sources, on varied subjects. I do not claim credit for any of the contents of these postings as my own.A student's declaration made at the end of his answer paper, holds good to the articles here too:"I hereby declare that the answers written above are true to the best of my friend's knowledge and I claim no responsibility whatsoever of the correctness of the answers."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Disciplined work habits help you accomplish more

Are you overrun by work, struggling each day with too much to do and too little time to do it in? Do deadlines catch you unawares? Do you waste far too much time in meetings and calls, and do constant interruptions make it a struggle for you to finish your job on time? Are small things getting in your way and keeping you from focussing on work? If so, your professional life could be one big mess!

For the young pro on the go, failure to stay organised and focussed could spell doom. Disorganised people come under greater stress and pressure, not only because of the constant catch-up they have to do, but also because an unsystematic approach to work makes it difficult to focus on the task at hand, making them prone to errors and poor quality work.

You will be surprised how simple planning and disciplined work habits can help you stay on top of your job, enabling you to accomplish more in less time. Here are the secrets to staying organised and focussed at work.

Have a daily work plan

If deadlines are both continuous and simultaneous in your line of work, you have to be extra vigilant about how you utilise your time. Sitting down to plan your work on a daily basis may seem like a waste of time, but in truth, it actually makes you more effective at work. Have a calendar or diary on hand and plan your day so that you know exactly what you are going to do. Use to-do lists to manage your time. You will notice the difference almost immediately. The quality of your work will improve. You will become more focussed. And because you know what you have achieved and what needs to be done, there is little chance of your being caught unawares by looming deadlines in the last minute.

Time control

Even a time conscious and efficient person cannot avoid every distraction that slows down his day, but there are ways, however, to minimise them. Set realistic schedules for yourself taking into account unavoidable disturbances that may interrupt your work schedule.

Be aware of the dangers of procrastination. A time consuming or difficult task that is repeatedly put on the backburner can give you major headaches when you least expect it.

Tackle difficult tasks first so that, you can rush through the easier ones even if you have little time left. Avoid time traps such as chatting, browsing or email that eat away precious minutes of the day.

Have a handy to-do list to tackle your chores. Prioritise the items your to do list in the order of their importance. As priorities change, renumber your list. Include things like time limits, deadlines / reminders and any other details that you may need to complete each task, so that you have a neat, tidy one point reference for carrying out your work.

Paperwork hurdle

Whether at home or work, you will feel happier and more efficient if you organise your physical surroundings. Declutter your workspace and disown items that are not actually needed for work. Set time aside each day for handling paperwork, preferably at the beginning or end of each day. Try to handle each piece of paper only once, and if it will take less than two minutes to deal with, deal with it straightaway.

For emergencies

In a professional environment, the ability to manage deadlines and meet emergencies is integral to your success. Always set reasonable deadlines, and remember when negotiating for deadlines, it is always better to under-promise and over deliver. Create a deadline schedule for your projects and stick to them. Break big projects into manageable chunks that can be completed over a period of time so that you don’t have to gatecrash before due dates.

Manage meetings

Unproductive meetings waste both your time and your company’s money. Make sense of meetings. Don’t stroll into a meeting with hands in your pockets, looking like you were hoping to catch some shut-eye on the conference table. Attend meetings only if they are really necessary and serve your purpose. Plan for the meeting in advance and mull over important issues on the agenda before hand so that you can prepare intelligent questions. Take notes and pay attention to what is being said. Maintaining discipline and professionalism in meetings is the best way to save your time and impress the boss with the right attitude.

Creating and maintaining a professional image requires more than mere personal appearance or effective communication skills. In the long run, being consistently effective at your work increases your chances of success in your career you also need to inculcate discipline, focus and order into your work habits, and show that you are a committed professional.

Effective work habits can increase your productivity and focus, and help you deliver consistently over time. Practice some of these work habits diligently, and see how it can help you step away from the chaos of a harried workday and make life easier for yourself.

(The Hindu, Opportunities, 15:10:2008)



Post a Comment

<< Home