Friday, August 27, 2010

Sometimes the best time management tool is: A Door that Closes

Life can be hectic - no kidding!! Sometimes I wonder how I became one of those people that can never seem to find time during the day to get this or that done. I'm organized. I'm an organized person! I have a day timer, not a blackberry, but an old fashioned paper and pen day timer. I love it and although I'm not lost without it, I rely on it. But alas, sometimes despite my valiant effort to manage my time I come up short.

I find this especially true of my work life and the things I need to get done while I'm here with my work family. I say family because it really is one. I spend 5 (sometimes 6 or 7, depending on the time of year) days a week here, 8-9 hours a day - again, sometimes more, with the people in my office, definitely with the people that I supervise. Deep down, I know that learning how to say one simple word would make my life easier and free up a lot of my time, that word being No. Two letters. N. O. Hard to say, hard to stick to. Who'd have thought.

I work in a cubeville - who doesn't. There are offices along the interior wall for those of us that have people reporting to us. I do have people that report to me, but didn't at the time the office was designed. We're looking to upgrade some space, but until then...When we need some un-interrupted time, we each have a light that we turn on and hang or place on the top of our cube. It's meaning - I need some privacy/quiet, please come back and see me soon or drop me an email and I'll get back to you when I can. Thank you.

For 95% of the people it works fine. I am not in that percentile. Light on or Light off, mine is the ever revolving "door" cube. To everyones credit, they always apologise once they notice the light, but they continue on. It can be challenging to say the least when I'm trying to dig in and focus and get some stuff done.
My director is off on vacation for a week which means her office is empty. Her office has a door. A door that closes. Knowing that I had some fairly tight deadlines to meet this week I temporarily moved into her office. Closed her door and turned on her light. WOW!! It was amazing. It was like I was surrounded by an invisibility force field. It was like a mini vacation. It was fan-damn-tastic!!!!! I got so much done. All my deadlines were met and I got some extra stuff done to. Forget all those high price workshops and seminars that try to teach us how to manage our time. Save your money and build your people offices that have doors that close. I'm willing to bet that the efficiency expert that sold the business world on cubicles never had to work in one!

Praise be to the office door that closes.

No comments:

Post a Comment