The most frustrating thing in managing time is the fact that others do not respect it. The challenge lies in managing people’s expectations. To be successful it is important to re-set others expectations about your time.
Effectively, you need to condition others to how you want time to be managed. No, this is not some impossible notion. The answer lies in simple behaviorial techniques developed by Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, a Russian physiologist, who discussed the notion of conditioning through his research on the digestive system of dogs and the study of what signals triggered the secretion of saliva. He conditioned the dogs to produce saliva by the ringing of a bell just prior to the provision of food. The dogs were being conditioned to produce saliva solely upon the sound of the bell. This was referred to as a conditioned reflex. Like Pavlov, you can condition those around you to follow a new learned behavior, one that you’ve created. In this instance a new expected behavior in how to respond to your time.
Time suckers include things like meetings and emails–the worst offenders of all. Email has become both a useful and inhibitive tool ever used in the office. It sets up unrealistic expectations. How many times have you received an email, only to receive a follow-up questioning why you haven’t yet responded to the email? Likely, too often indeed.
You can use email to your advantage to re-condition them. If, for example, you receive phone calls, respond back by email or if you receive an email respond back only at predefined times during the day. Part of the conditioning process is to be consistent in your response to maintain the conditioned behavior. This is a mighty powerful tool, one that they’ve been using on you all along, as they conditioned you to immediately respond to them. What you’re doing is breaking your conditioned response and redirecting the conditioning back to them. Most often, they won’t even realize what you’ve done, since they’re only acting in a conditioned way.
This simple act alone will result in re-setting others expectations on your time. It may take a few weeks for people to actually believe it, but first and foremost, never, and I mean, never, immediately respond to an email! The desire and habit may be high, but you need to get people conditioned, yes conditioned, to realize that you’re not in existence to serve them at their whim and pleasure. You have a job to do and you need to control the aspects of the job. I’ve been successful with this simple act alone.
Be selfish with your time or others will use and abuse it and all at your expense.
Are you putting conditions on your time?
Feel free to share your answer in the comments.
Other Time Trading Gurus
Steve Jackson presents 25 Hacks that Will Give Your More Time in Your Day posted at Housekeeping, saying, “Saving a few seconds here and there throughout the day may not seem like it makes that much of a difference, but consistently practicing time-saving habits can add up.”
Peter J. Buscemi presents What Should be in a Marketing Plan : Four Quadrant posted at Four Quadrant, saying, “There are many formats as there are marketing plans, as there should be, as each is created from a unique environment and is focused on providing results that are specific to an organization at a point in time.”
John Schmoll presents Taking the Plunge: Why I Love Being Self-Employed posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “Running your own business has its shares of pros and cons and is not for the faint of heart. I love being self-employed because of the freedom it brings as well as being able to see direct results from my hard work.”
Cherry Liu presents How to Save Money on Your Cable Bill When Times are Tight posted at House Sitting Jobs.
Lena Ameri presents 9 Mistakes That Prevent You From Reaching Your Goals posted at Liveit! Magazine, saying, “Have you been sticking to your New Year’s resolution? Let’s be honest, the harsh truth is that while everyone sets goals, most people don’t actually reach the goals they set. Don’t be frustrated, read this article to find out the 9 common mistakes that prevent you from reaching your goals.”