How to Stop Other People From Wasting Your Time
People waste my time a lot. They try to optimize their time while totally disregarding mine. It's not their fault; rather, it's mine.
One of the key steps in staying productive is to prevent other people from wasting your time. Craig Jarrow, author of Time Management Ninja, provides these tips to common ways people add inefficiencies:
They call or visit you when an email will do. If all you need is a simple reply that isn't urgent, people should use email to communicate with you. Set guidelines on how you want to be communicated with based on the subject and urgency.
They break promises or don't reply in a timely manner. In many cases, you need their reply to take your next step. Alternately, their actions consistently create fire drills, which creates unnecessary work for everyone involved. These people are liabilities on every team.
They "knock twice." They send a second email or make a second call before you have had a chance to reply. Set clear expectations as to when emails and voicemails will be returned. Let people know when they break the rules.
They are late or unprepared for meetings. This wastes everyone's time. If someone is late or unprepared, start without them or stop the meeting.
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