A colleague visited me asking for my thoughts on helping
her overcome a time management situation she faces.
Each day she comes into her laboratory in late morning
after sleeping late and having a little breakfast. Her day
then involves responding to events, problems and questions from
others. She finds herself staying late to complete work
she had started or was involved with in other people’s
projects. Little of the work she wants to do moves forward.
What can she do?
It seems her direction lacked focus, not having determined
and communicated personal goals and objectives. Once
these are done a gap analysis and timeline can be created.
She indicated she wanted to graduate in December, 2016
and we spoke about a fast track route by outlining and doing
literature research for a review article that she could write
about her methods and instrumentation.
Then, we spoke about setting daily and weekly agendas and
communicating with customers, collaborators and co-workers
a more disciplined approach. In addition, she needed to identify
an accountability partner, someone who is interested, honest,
can remain confidential, and displays the behaviors of openness,
fast-response and care.
Other steps, captured by H. Bruch and S. Ghoshal in “Bias for
1 Ask for feedback on plan and possible roadblocks
2 Overcome negativity and build up excitement
3 Visualize intention and make a personal commitment
Overcome ‘traps of inaction’
1 develop an agenda\ reduce priorities, organize demands
2 identify constraints and map trade-offs
3 expand choices
4 selectively break rules