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208 - Time management, Improving efficiency at work

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  • To achieve those goals we need to considerWhy – what’s the purposeWhy am I communicating, what is my real reason for writing or speaking, what am I hoping to achieve - a change of attitude, a change of opinion?What is my purpose - to inform, to persuade, to influence, to educate, to sympathise, to entertain?Who is the receiverWho am I communicating with, what type of person are they, how may they react to me, what do they know if anything about the subject, what is my relationship with the recipient of my communication? Where and when – the place and contextWhere will the person be when they receive my message - in the office close to other relevant material or isolated from the problem or information so that I may need to remind the person of the facts?Am I replying to something the person has raised or will my message represent the first this person has heard about this topic/problem/issue?What is my relationship with the receiver? Is the subject of my message the cause of controversy between us? Is the atmosphere strained or cordial; formal or informal?What – the subjectWhat do I want / need to say, what do they need to know, what information must I include and what can I omit?How – style and toneWhich medium of communication will be most appreciated - written or spoken? A letter, personal chat or interview? A report or an oral presentation? An email or a phone call?How will I organise the points I want to make - shall I use deductive sequence (start with the main point and then go on to the main explanation/examples/illustrations) or use inductive sequence (start with the explanation/examples/illustrations and build up to the main point at the end)How am I going to achieve the right effect? What tone must I use to achieve the right objective? Which words must I use/avoid in order to create the right tone?
  • Nicki Stanton ‘Mastering Communication’ The six Cs of communicationProfessional communication is to provide information that is meaningful in the context it is givenIt needs to be to the point and relevant. Don’t include superfluous information that is not neededIt should always be done in a manner that is respectful and in a timely wayIt should be checked to ensure that it always accurateIt should provide the receiver with all the information they need TimelyRelevant
  • Usefulness:The written word is the basis of organisational communication and is used because it is relatively permanent and accessibleIt is often chosen because it provides a record of the communication and can be referred back to
  • Usefulness:Verbal exchanges in person and by phone are used because of their immediacyThey are the chief means by which organisations work on a day-to-day basisOr are they?! Are there times we actually use email when really it would be far better to have that two way conversation over the phone or face to face
  • Actions and body language profoundly but unconsciously affect peopleExamples:Fold arms, stare at one person, don't smile, Coffee stains, illegible hand written notes, change order (Ruth)
  • Visual images are used because they convey powerful conscious and unconscious messagesReaders can find that numerical data embedded in a sentence is harder to absorb than if it were presented in a graph, pie or bar chart A visual image can reinforce a written messageIt is important to explain the message you wish it to convey
  • I’d like you to choose one group from the list or choose one of your ownThen in groups can you consider how you might choose to communicate with them, what you may need to consider and what the pitfalls may beYou have ten minutes to discuss this and then I would like you to write on post-itsThe name of the group you have chosenOne method of communicationBriefly one thing that could go wrong if you used this method
  • Going to look some suggestions that we consider good practice and also some things to avoid. We will look specifically at:EmailReportsMinutesLetter writingPresentations Style, spelling and grammar and punctuation will be covered in more detail by James
  • Transcript

    • 1. AUA Manchester 2012 Session no 208Time management: how to improve your personal efficiency at work. James Craig Faculty Accountant The University of Leeds
    • 2. Two facts 1. There are 168 hours in a week, every week! Sleep – 48 hrs Work – 40 hrs ? – 80 hrs2. The brain is incapable of multi-tasking
    • 3. Engrained habits.Break theseUnderlying causes?
    • 4. Objectives (1)• Purpose; direction; framework; focus on results• A written objective.• States what you want to achieve, and by when.• Use templates to hold regular meetings with your manager/ subordinate – eg once week or once a fortnight.
    • 5. Objectives (2)• Specific• Measurable• Achievable• Relevant• Time-bound• SMART!
    • 6. Your priorities at work.Your boss’s priorities for you.Priorities from others at work(peers/ colleagues in other depts/students).Discuss regularly with your boss.Pin up near your desk.Priorities at home.
    • 7. Prioritisation Exercise• In groups of two or three, discuss what priorities you might establish for yourself over the coming few months.• Remember: SMART• Would you be happy presenting this to your boss (or to other colleagues?)
    • 8. Prioritisation modelImportant and UrgentImportant and not UrgentUrgent but not ImportantNeither Urgent nor Important
    • 9. 1. Important and UrgentCarry out when you have most energy, eg first thing after you arrive at work.Avoid the after-dinner dip (assuming you have one!)
    • 10. 2. Important but not urgentNot yet urgent, so don’t allow tobecome urgent!Schedule a time to do them, ordelegate to others(more on delegation later)
    • 11. 3. Urgent but not importantPotential time-wasters: interruptions requiring our attention but which don’t help us with our objectives.Time-stealers. Break bad habitsSelf-discipline
    • 12. 4. Neither urgent nor important !!Social networking during work time Times Higher Education? AUA Perspectives?
    • 13. Urgent interruptions• Break off• Deal with now• Schedule a time in your calendar or diary to re-commence your important work
    • 14. Overcoming ProcrastinationBad habitsRealistic, bite-sized goals(manage expectations)The ‘tolerable ten’Switch email off
    • 15. Prioritisation• David Rock – ‘Your Brain at Work’ HarperCollins 2009• The brain is like a theatre• Actors make up the audience; like pieces of memory which can be called up onto the stage in an instant• The stage is the prefrontal cortex (4% of the volume of the brain); ie v small• The stage in the theatre: very energy-intensive and a limited resource.
    • 16. Email/ Outlook tips‘Always on’ can be an addiction!Set hours each day(If not possible in your job, perhaps turn off notification symbol and bleep)Triage system to clear out in-box each day:• Really need attention• Get rid• File – reference – later action
    • 17. More on email/ OutlookTemplatesOut-of-office assistant (when you’re actually in the office!)Meetings calendar – dittoFAQs - post on website and send the enquirer a link
    • 18. Management Time: Who’s got the Monkey?William Oncken and Hal Burrows, Harvard Business ReviewKen Blanchard: ‘The One-Minute Manager Meets the Monkey’, Harper Collins, 1990.ISBN 978-0-00-711698-0
    • 19. Four rules of monkey management:1. Descriptions (plan with boss)2. Owners (assignment)3. Insurance (responsibility)4. Feeding and checking (managingperformance)
    • 20. Delegation/ CoachingAssigning involves a single monkey.True delegation involves a family of monkeys at once.Coaching gets you into a position to delegate – aircraft analogy: taking off/ reaching cruising height.
    • 21. Common barriers to delegation (discuss):1. The task won’t be done as I want it.2. I feel guilty about handing out dull orrepetitive work.3. They say they won’t do it: haven’t gotthe time.4. I feel uncomfortable aboutconfronting a poor performer.5. I don’t have anyone to whom todelegate.
    • 22. Delegation issues – comments from delegates (1)• Satisfaction a problem (control freak): will my colleagues provide work of sufficiently high quality?• There are different ways of achieving a task: yours isn’t necessarily the best. Be prepared for your colleagues to do things “their way” provided the outcome is what’s expected of them.
    • 23. Delegation issues (2)Fear of their success may be a barrier to delegation(your colleagues could outshine you which willreflect not so well on you). Stand back and askwhether that’s in the best interests of your unit/department; not to mention your colleague whowould benefit from a developmental opportunity.“We’re all in this together” – inform your staff ofthe context of the work: make it more meaningfulin terms of where it fits in with the broader picture.
    • 24. Delegation issues (3)• “No chance of doing that now” – agree ‘protected time’ with your colleagues; eg 3.00 on Tuesday afternoon. Relates again to the objectives and priorities established abovr.• Build or re-building trust where the colleague has a history of not delivering, or has an ‘attitude’ problem.• Confidence can take time to develop.
    • 25. Delegation issues (4)• No-one to whom to delegate. Try delegating upwards and sideways, as well as down.• Perfectionism can be an issue. Often perfectionism is not needed, or not desirable.• Discuss and share as a team - delegate to a team and let them decide how to allocate the work. This gives them greater ‘say’, more job satisfaction etc, and produces the end-result required provided you have provided the necessary coaching/ training in the first place.
    • 26. Monkey management – Imposed Time• Boss-imposed time• System-imposed time• Self-imposed time – ‘Good’ self-imposed time – more time for performing the core of your job; more time for life outside work – ‘Bad’ self-imposed time – subordinate-imposed
    • 27. Lifestyle (whole lifestyle: work and non-work)• Clean, tidy desk and clean, tidy home• Clear desk at end of each day• Good sleep habits (eg regular bed time)• Proper breaks away from your desk• Doze off somewhere after lunch (seriously!)• Cycle or walk to work• Walk about at work (eg avoid using the lift)
    • 28. More Monkey Management• Saying ‘no’, tactfully.• Investing time in getting to know someone, eg a regular contact in another dept, or the PA of someone senior.• An hour for coffee. A friend as well as a colleague.
    • 29. Living Life to the Full www.llttf.com/llttf.com has ‘ten top tips’, including:Eat plenty of bananasEat breakfast every day (porridge or muesli)ExerciseWear ‘wow’ glasses!MusicDo a good turn
    • 30. Other activities (the 80 hours)• Be extremely selective about TV viewing (like junk food – for the most part)• More Radio (Radio 4)• Pastimes• Pastimes requiring a minimum standard, eg choral society, advanced driving• Mothers with young children – regular evenings out (persuade your spouse to stay in)
    • 31. Delegates’ concluding contributions• “Their stress is not your priority”• Don’t try and do everything. Concentrate on a few activities your enjoy most.• Change your working hours if it suits your boss and your team, eg 8-4. Flexible working for all team members, can suit the team as a whole.• Pilates is beneficial and easy to do.
    • 32. ReferencesKen Blanchard et al: ‘The One-Minute Manager Meets the Monkey’, Harper Collins, 1990.ISBN 978-0-00-711698-0David Rock: ‘Your brain at work’, Harper Business, 2009. ISBN 978-0-06-177129-3Living life to the Full – www.llttf.comLeeds University Bicycle Users’ Group –www.leeds.ac.uk/leedsbug/

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