Make the Most of Your Time

If you add up all of the things you have to do, and all of the things you want to do, there will never be enough time to get it all done.

In the March issue of Customer Communicator, the training and motivation newsletter for frontline reps, Donald E. Wetmore of the Productivity Institute says that “by using your time more wisely, and working smarter instead of harder, you can find more time to do more of the important things in life.”

One tool that Wetmore recommends is an interruptions log. When he introduced the log to reps at a software company, they found that each of them was getting several calls per day on issues that weren’t addressed in the company’s technical manual. When they added a supplement to address those issues, the interruptions went away,

“An interruptions log can help you to identify that sort of thing,” Wetmore says, “You see the frequency of the interruption, the time it takes to resolve it, and the relative importance to your work. Then you look at the adjustments you can make to eliminate the interruptions or resolve them more quickly.”

Here’s how the log works:

Just get a sheet of paper and a pencil and add headings for the date, time, who or what created the interruption, how long it lasted, and a rating for the interruption.

The rating system can be a simple A, B, C, D. A is an interruption that was for something crucial or of the utmost importance; B is for something that’s important; C is something of little value; and D is for something that has no value.

When reps track all of their daily interruptions for several days they are likely to discover important trends that can be addressed individually or as a team.

More on reducing interruptions appears in the March issue of Customer Communicator.

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