So where did the working day go to today? You didn’t get everything done either? Whatever the words work and employment mean for you; at an office, at home or digging the road up you needed more time to meet your daily plan than you actually had.
Thinking about those folks whose job is to patch up the pipes and cables under the road it’s a well worn joke about the great British workforce and one guy to dig the hole and another five standing around to watch. That can actually be truer than we may have stopped to consider in this day and age of H and S excesses and the likes of trainees and supervisors on site. You may well find as we did recently over polite enquiry that on a road works site there was and H and S guy who walked around the coned off area (just a few square meters) and made sure there was no possibility of beaches in safety policies. Another man told us he was there to ‘watch’ the temporary traffic signals. I could go on but you see where this is heading.
So where did the working day go to today?
How can you streamline your work day to cut out the most possible dead wood? Maybe that does not sound like your day but we are increasingly connected and increasingly mobile. Time spent on the internet and time spent travelling are great thieves of time. Compressing networking into ‘quiet’ times of day helps more than you may have considered. Travel congestion on the roads (yes those again!) burns up an awesome amount of time if you live in the big conurbations and drive yourself around. Greater London leads the European city congestion tables with drivers spending an average 101 hours per year sitting in traffic.
So how do the mobile generation get the most out of the day? Online meetings are a good starting point – just consider getting a meeting or two out of the way before you plunge into the traffic melee. For the millennial generation using smart phones and laptops or tablets to chat via video link is perfectly natural. Why not try embracing this as the way to have important meetings without needing time spent sitting in queues and all the frustration that brings.
Don’t mix it up unnecessarily – the big temptation with the digital age is to let work interaction and personal social interaction become blurred. If you have you ever picked up your phone and then been surprised by the passage of time when you put it back down again, you need to rethink how you split out the personal stuff into personal time. It makes you far more effective!
Finally staff functions and training – if you cannot see a useful outcome by way of networking or applicable knowledge don’t waste your time! There is a whole world of people out there who want your time to fill out their day, sell you something or just are plain misguided on what really matters and what does not.
Take control and see what you can do to streamline your working day. There will always be more you want to do than time will allow you but if you take real ownership of your time and just say no to anything unproductive you will excel at what you do. And the reward – you will have more time away from the desktop, virtual or otherwise to chill out and enjoy the things that matter to you.