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The library of essays of Proakatemia

Respect everyone’s time



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How to work without losing your mind
Cate Sevilla
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 4 minuuttia.

Once said in Proakatemia: you must get used to working out of office hours, all day long every day of the week. Is being great entrepreneur measured by the time you use for working? It’s possible to be busy and yet not accomplish much. It’s important to distinguish between mere busyness and true efficiency. Efficiency involves achieving a significant amount within a shorter timeframe. Consider it as the quality of your work hours rather than simply the quantity. Being efficient implies a focus on productivity and impactful outcomes, making the most out of the time you invest rather than just spending a lot of time on tasks.

Respect your own time

Respecting your own time is very much about setting your boundaries. By respecting your own time, you can achieve a better balance between work and personal life, reduce stress, and increase your overall satisfaction and well-being. Prioritizing and managing your time effectively is an ongoing process that can lead to increased productivity and a more fulfilling life.

When you start a new job it’s easier to be strict with these when it is a fresh start. You can let your team and manager know your working habits and boundaries and they most likely follow those from the very beginning. If you are already drowning in the mess of your schedule in your current job, resetting the way you work and defining those boundaries is more complicated. The minute you start taking for example meetings out of your available hours or if someone else discovers that you once cancelled your other plans to meet them, they will always think your time is theirs. (Sevilla, 2021.)

Establishing clear boundaries is vital for your overall well-being and your performance at work. These boundaries not only help you maintain a positive professional reputation but also contribute to the effective management of your workload and mental health. By setting and enforcing these boundaries, you are not only teaching your colleagues how to interact with you at work but also serving as a positive example for others in the office. This approach fosters a healthier and more balanced work environment for everyone.

 

Respect other’s time

Once you’ve had problems with other’s respecting your time it is easier for you to respect their time. This is more for those who like to work 24/7 and don’t realise other’s might value their own time and have healthy boundaries. “Unless you are the actual Queen you don’t get to treat people as though your time is so much more valuable than theirs” (Sevilla, 2021).

If you’re consistently disorganized and often miss meetings, or if you need to be called after to find out where you are, it sends a signal that you don’t value their time. People might have invested time and effort in preparing or psyching themselves up for a meeting with you, only to be disappointed by your absence. This lack of consideration can have a negative impact on your professional relationships and the overall efficiency of collaborative efforts.

“Strong-badass-bitch-lady-boss tone” perfectly describes that one type of being busy. Acting as though you’re incredibly busy and important: the ones who need everyone to know how busy they are and how lucky you are to be able meeting them yet spend half the meeting checking their phone or constantly checking time, are likely dealing with some kind of attitude play. (Sevilla, 2021.) The ones who are actually busy are usually the ones who treat you the kindest. They know how valuable their and your time is.

Respect working time

We are all busy in our own way, respecting everyone’s time at work is crucial in addition to be efficient and everything done in time. Respect others’ working hours and avoid non-urgent communication outside of those hours. Keeping that in mind helps a lot when working with busy people. So, what we can do at work to make everyone’s working day efficient and not wasting our time.

Avoid cancelling at the last minute. We all know those people who like to cancel important meetings at last minute. Nothing is worse than dragging yourself out of bed for an early meeting, only to be told that it’s been called off. If cancellation is unavoidable, don’t do it less than an hour before the meeting supposed to start. Preferably try to provide at least a two-hour notice, and especially for morning meetings, aim to notify the evening before rather than making a 6:45 AM call. This ensures a respectful acknowledgment of everyone’s time and commitments. (Sevilla, 2021.)

Keeping video calls to no longer than 30 minutes, sitting in an hour-long meeting is exhausting but on video it’s especially hard to concentrate. Our brains have to work harder during video calls as our communication is impaired. There is plenty of research into this but shortly few points:

  • We are not able to see people’s body language or their hand gestures
  • Looking from one face to another on multi-person calls
  • Being distracted by your own face instead of paying attention to what’s been discussed
  • The ones without even camera on, it’s like talking to a wall and not being sure if there even is anyone listening you. (Sevilla, 2021.)

Effective communication plays an important role not only in maintaining healthy relationships but also in optimizing work efficiency. It’s crucial to articulate your expectations and requirements clearly. Utilize precise and concise language to minimize unnecessary back-and-forth communication. Clearly highlight urgent tasks, ensuring that your team understands the priority. When delegating responsibilities, offer explicit instructions and consider the workloads and capabilities of your team members. This approach demonstrates respect for their time and ensures that their involvement is focused on tasks that genuinely demand their attention.

Ultimately setting boundaries to keep work predominantly about work is crucial, as is treating all of those connected to your professional world with respect and kindness. Being transparent and honest with people helps you a lot, just as you would want others to be with you. Treating people, the way you want to be treated at work can ultimately reduce your own stress levels and make your work life much easier. Also, it can help build your own reputation in ways that you might not even be aware of. (Sevilla, 2021.)

Sources

Sevilla, C. 2021. How to work without losing your mind. 1st edit. Published as book 2023. UK: Penguin Books

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