Friday, 22 January 2016

Time management in a digital era

It is said that we live in a digital world. Whoever has a smartphone, understands why. The Internet and the constant technological progress are changing both our private and professional lives.

We now need to be faster and we expect everything around us to be fast. 

Therefore, technological improvements that are helping us to “Save time” are extremely valued. At the same time we need to face new time thieves, especially from the online environment.
What to do?!
Here are some thoughts on how adapt time management to the digital era.

If you don’t plan your day some else will do it for you
This will continue to be true no matter how much the technology will impact our daily lives. If you start the day without having your own plan, you will end up drifting away through random tasks coming from other people. All of them will have the tendency to be important and urgent, which will eventually bring you to frustration and overtime.
So step 1: Start your day by writing down your plan.

Step 2: Stick with your plan. All other new things that are coming during the day you should plan for a time convenient for you.  This way you will manage to control our schedule and time. At the beginning it might be difficult for the others to understand that they need to wait, but after the first situation, they will know what your working style is and adapt to it.

Use the technology in your favor
Choose an online calendar or planner and maintain your daily tasks there. With the help of the multiple functions most online calendars have you can set reminders, postpone activities, make notes, search for past activities and many other things. 
At the end of the day you will not only achieve more and avoid forgetting things, but you will also have the satisfaction of looking at all the things you have completed during the day.

Plan your ‘update’ breaks
Being all the time connected to the internet and having access to so much information can be very tempting.
The innocent and quick checking of the social media accounts is taking much more time than one can imagine. Besides the time actually spent checking the updates of the people in your network on different social media websites, there is also the time you need to get back mentally into the topic we were before. 
Planning the short ‘update breaks’ will help you not only reduce the time you spend doing this but also realize that you haven’t missed anything by not checking 2 hours your accounts.

How good are you in managing time at work? What are your best three things you do to manage time at work effectively?

Saturday, 9 January 2016

The world outside our comfort zone

During one of the interviews I had a few years ago, I have asked one candidate what made her stay for 5 years at a company where her experience was not valued. 
Her answer was: “Well… the colleagues are nice, I got used with everything in the company and the management is also not that bad.”

She knew the whole time that she could do much more. However she continued there for so long because it was cozy.
Recently I have had the chance to talk again with her and I have found out that she is still with the same company but much happier. What happened?

She had decided to take the risk and try something new. She has discussed with her manager, she has been assigned to new projects, had to learn new technologies, was noticed by the management and got promoted.  She had left her comfort zone and decided to go for more, take risks and work hard until she got what she wanted.

When was the last time you have tried doing something new? What was the biggest step you took out of your comfort zone?

Here is a good illustration about the comfort zone and what could happen if we dare to get out of it.