In today’s world of work, we live in a culture of constant interruptions – from the relentless stream of emails and in-house memos to the torrent of ad-hoc tasks and empty promises - “it’ll only take a minute,” they said.
“There’s an insidious thing about our interruption culture – honestly, we like it,” claims Edward Brown, author of The Time Bandit Solution: Recovering Stolen Time You Never Knew You Had.
“We love our cell phones, the Internet, our ready access to everybody and everything. But it has its dark side – great discoveries rarely happen in email exchanges, on conference calls or during tele-meetings,” warns Brown.
Now, the team at HR technology firm Ceridian has said there are three things every employer should be doing to more effectively manage the clock.
Improve communication skills
There’s certainly no shortage of ways to communicate with colleagues – whether they’re on the other side of the world or the other end of the office – but how many times have you received an excess of unnecessary emails that only add to your stress and take up your valuable time?
According to Ceridian, the skills behind communicating have to be fine-tuned; “The goal should be to streamline communication so that it’s direct, to the point and not excessive. This way, everyone can still get work done.”
Get everyone on the same page
It’s important that everyone has the same expectations – draw attention to the importance of minimizing distractions and improving time management and it’ll make the issue more palpable for your employees.
“It’s imperative that people allow their colleagues to work and achieve at a high level,” says Ceridian. “Ultimately, everyone should collaborate well and be successful together.”
Have a time-locking policy
A key skill in keeping control of the clock is being able to isolate time and focus. “If you need two hours to prepare that big presentation, set aside those two hours and lock them down. Don’t let anything else pull you away,” advises the Ceridian team.
This article was adapted from one by Nicola Middlemiss in our sister title Human Capital