Ken Taylor on time management

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    Transcript: Dialogue

    Hello. This is Ken Taylor from London. Many of us get stressed at work. There just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do everything we should do. That is why managing our time efficiently is such an important business skill.
    Listen to this conversation between two colleagues, George and Lisa, during a coffee break. George is feeling stressed. As you listen, count the number of reasons why he feels that way. And listen to Lisa’s advice.


    Lisa: George. Relax. Have a coffee. You look stressed out.
    George: I am! I’ve got a report to finish by Friday and I haven’t even started it yet.
    Lisa: Too much on your to have too much on one’s plate (UK)zu viel am Hals habenplate?
    George: You can say that again. I’ve got the departmentAbteilungdepartment meeting this afternoon, and in five minutes, I’m to be due atbei etw. sein sollendue at the project reviewProjektberichtproject review meeting. I seem to spend half my life in meetings.
    Lisa: Maybe you have to say no to some of those meetings or just turn up for the bit that affects you.
    George: You’re right. But it’s not just that — it’s the hundred or so emails I’ve got to answer. And while I’m doing that, the phone keeps ringing with urgent messages from customers.
    Lisa: You don’t have to answer all the emails immediately. You can always send a short holdinghier: die Antwort auf einen späteren Zeitpunkt verschiebendholding one and get back to the sender later. And put your phone on voice mail when you don’t want to be disturbed.
    George: You’re right, of course. But there’s all that travelling I do, too.
    Lisa: When I travel, I look at the airport lounge or the rail carriage as my office. In fact, it’s often easier to work there than in my real office.
    George: I’m just always so tired that the thought of working then seems too much.
    Lisa: Maybe that’s a signal you need to change your work habits. It could be a first sign of burnout. Look. If your first priority is the quarterly report, cancel the meeting this afternoon, put your phone on voice mail and get on with it.
    George: Again, you’re right, Lisa. Look, you seem well-organized and in control of things. Maybe we could sit down and have a proper chatUnterhaltungchat about this. I could show you what I have to do, and you could give me some more advice.
    Lisa: I’d be happy to. When? On Monday?
    George: Hmm, I’m not sure. I’ve got three meetings that day, and a proposalhier: Angebotproposal to write and there’s probably some other…
    Lisa: George!

    Poor George! He doesn’t seem able to manage his time at work very well at all. I counted six reasons why he was stressed: the report that is needed by Friday, the number of meetings he has to attend, the 100 or so emails to answer, the phone calls that interrupt him, his travelling and his tiredness.

    Now, think about your work situation for a moment. What are the things that can make you feel stressed? How do you deal with them? Is there anything about the way you work that you need to change?
    In the next exercise, we’ll look at how you can deal with some of these sources of stress.

     

    Transcript: Giving advice

    In the dialogue between George and Lisa, we heard about George’s time management problems. But we also heard Lisa give him some advice. In this exercise, you will hear George tell you about his time pressure problems. In the following pause, give him some advice on how to deal with it. Then you will hear Lisa’s version. Don’t worry if your version isn’t exactly the same as Lisa’s. OK?

    George: I have to attend too many meetings. 
    Lisa: Maybe you have to say no to some of those meetings or just turn up for the bit that to affect sb.jmdn. betreffenaffects you.

    George: I also get so many emails. 
    Lisa: You don’t have to answer all the emails immediately. You can always send a short holding one and get back to the sender later.

    George: But while I’m answering emails, I get interrupted all the time by phone calls. 
    Lisa: You could put your phone on voice mail when you don’t want to be disturbed.

    George: Also, I waste a lot of time travelling. 
    Lisa: When I travel, I look at the airport lounge or the rail carriage as my office. In fact, it’s often easier to work there than in my real office.

    George: But I’m always so tired. 
    Lisa: Maybe that’s a signal you need to change your work habits. It could be a first sign of burnout.

    George: I’ve got to get the quarterlyvierteljährlich, Quartals-quarterly report done by Friday. 
    Lisa: If your first priority is the quarterly report, cancel the meeting this afternoon, put your phone on voice mail and get on with it.

    Was your advice similar to Lisa’s? Think about your own work situation again. What are the two or three main priorities in your work at the moment? Do you feel you have enough time to deal with these priorities appropriately? If not, how are you going to manage your time in future so that you can deal with them properly?

     

    Mehr zum Thema

    Vertiefen Sie dieses Thema mit dem zugehörigen Artikel und der Übung:

    Time to take control (article)

    Time management (exercise)

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