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Time … its relative

It’s 2020 , and we are already in the second week of the year, its just a matter of time before we will be saying to ourselves that 2020 has just flown by.

Time in our lives is the only constant and the only thing that we are always running out of. However what we do not realise is that time is also relative. Time travels at the pace of the individual and based on the individual’s desired outcome. For eg. If I need to buy a car tomorrow, time is short, but if I want to buy it in 2022, I have time.  

So how do we manage time?

Draft not getting closed, deadline approaching… 

I often work with a team of designers and content writers, and if you are from a corporate communications team or for that matter any media house, the deadline was always yesterday, however deadline for iterations (versions) is endless. The amount of time spent on the iterations can seem like a decade when compared to the initial deadline. In this scenario, I would always start by setting the right expectation and understanding the requirements. Always start with the basics … 

What we are doing; Why we are doing it; What is the impact or how it impacts you; When and where will it happen; What you need to do and so on… And then take it from there based on your clients expectations. Mostly it’s just about managing your stakeholder and not the draft. 

Multiple projects, too many things to do…

Well! Everyone has time, it just about what you prioritise. Remember you may work on multiple projects but you can only focus on one task at a point in time… Say while getting ready to go to office, try eating your sandwich while tying your shoelace. The same goes with your work, you have to pick one thing at a time and when you do, finish it. You will have time to focus on the others tasks at hand.

Multiple stakeholders in a project…

Do not try to divide and conquer, Today, technology has enabled us collaborate better and faster, with simultaneous communication rather than individual follow ups. Speed up your timeline by getting everyone on the same page, sometimes as a communicator you also play a part of a facilitator, to help moves things along. 

Something is not right, this is not working…

A favourite dialogue of stakeholders and clients that keeps you puzzled, leaving you in a limbo thinking of what to do, and what to fix. Many a times your stakeholders cannot express what they are feeling… At this point the best thing to do is have to dialogue, over a coffee or an informal meeting. If you have played the game 20 questions, now is the time to use it subtly. 

Time management in essence is not about managing your time, remember you cannot control time, however you can always control the work you need to complete in that particular timeframe. And as you progress through you career the most value is derived when you are spending time constructively rather that doing mundane tasks.

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