You’re working on improving your own productivity, you’ve changed some of your own bad habits but other people around you are still making demands on your time and it’s not helping.
They still come up with the last minute demands, they’re still piling on the pressure and the workload.
So how can you manage other people’s lack of planning and organisation when you’re now managing your time better?
Be clear about your boundaries – don't allow people to call you when you're not working or expect you to instantly respond to emails. How often do you get called late at night or at weekends when either there's not a lot you can do or you feel compelled to fix the problem or respond to their needs?
Know when to say no - if you keep saying 'yes', they'll keep doing what they're doing. However, if you say 'no' and explain your reasons you may be able to stop some of those last minute demands. Yes, you want to be responsive and offer great service to your clients but you need to draw the line somewhere.
Manage their expectations - get clear from the beginning about what your working hours are, when you're available, lead times, the consequences of last minute deadlines. Charge a premium for out of hours work or last minute rushes - especially if they're persistent offenders.
An emergency on their part doesn't necessarily constitute an emergency on your part!
Helping your clients and colleagues to work better will help you too. You could always suggest they get in touch with me.
For more ideas on tackling productivity issues in your business - drop me an email.
Photo credit: Clock by deux-chi, on Flickr