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Here are 5 tips for breaking some of the most common habits we fall into, that steal time and energy from us.
1. Limit the amount of emails you use
There is an over reliance on the use of email. Try to break this trend by picking up the phone, or going to see the person (travel permitting). It is amazing what can be achieved by speaking rather than emailing.
2. Back to back meetings
In your diary (electronic or otherwise), do not plan in exactly 60 minutes for meetings. This means others can add follow on meetings straight after previous ones. Two ways to overcome this is to plan in time either side of planned meetings, or add in 70 minutes in your diary instead of 60 for meetings.
3. Planning time
Plan in time for 'You' in your diary to prepare for meetings, and complete actions. Add a 'meeting with yourself' into your diary to allow for thinking and preparation. Without this others can control your diary, and you will put off planning.
4. Do not disturb
Why not book a small meeting room to do essential planning so you are not disturbed, if you try to plan at your desk people will see you as available, when if fact you are busy. In some teams we work with they have an allotted time where they are not disturbed (at their desk) and they simply put up a hotel style 'do not disturb' notice, some have green and red cards to signify when free.
5. Out of office
Make people aware of when you are out of the office. Set up out of office emails, with instructions of who to contact or what to do in your absence. The same goes for voicemail, record a personalised message explaining when and why you are unavailable, and who to contact. This will limit the amount of things you come back to following holidays, training and off site meetings.