How do you manage work flow and get on top of interruptions?

Date: Tuesday, 26 June 2018

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Are you often used as the go-to person by other staff? If not managed, these interruptions can impact significantly on your work flow.

If you find yourself being pulled in different directions, STOP and ask yourself: “What is the main purpose of my job?” Everything flows on from that - how you use your time, who you’re available to, what you give your attention to etc.

Look at a typical week and analyse your effectiveness and efficiency. Are there weaknesses in your time management practices? Re-examine your routines, methods and processes, and decide whether they are productive or counter-productive.

Ask yourself, “Is this the best use of my time?” “Should I be doing this task or job right now (if at all)?”

  1. To free yourself to focus on other aspects of your role, identify which processes you complete can potentially be moved or handed over to others (with training if necessary).
     
  2. Handle interruptions and avoid being distracted by irrelevant tasks or details, e.g. other people’s dramas or extraneous information. Ask yourself, “Is it important that I know this?” Be assertive and focus on what’s important.

  3. If you are often behind in your work or continually working after hours, identify why – is it the workload, is it poor communication, is it unclear priorities etc.

  4. Take control when someone says, “Have you got a minute?” It’s never a minute, more like 15 minutes or more. You could say “How urgent is this? I’m working on a deadline”. Then choose a time which is more suitable.

  5. Focus on what matters and be ruthless in eliminating actions that are repetitive and unnecessary.