Time Management…AKA The Kittery Inquisition

Time management…managing time, priorities, work. In my office and with our daily list of items to be completed, processed, followed up on, and projects it is a crucial element of being and feeling successful. Each of the four women, myself included, has a specific group of tasks that must be completed to serve our small office…and minus a day of silliness here and there, those tasks are completed consistently making us effective and efficient managers of our time, tasks, responsibilities, etc. We do our work with little to no supervision…it’s why we were hired…our manager is here a few days a week at best because we are low maintenance and steady producers. We don’t need a bird on our shoulders to effectively and efficiently produce quality work during our managed time. (Bear with me, the sarcasm is dripping heavily here to avoid going on a total rant!)

HOWEVER… (insert dramatic da-da-daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa music)…despite our effectively managed time and constant work production, there is another member in our office. She is high maintenance, constantly needs details and clarification and asks questions about why we do what we do, how we do what we do, what protocols are in place for what we are doing, and how can she utilize our in-place protocols to clarify detailed processes to her own team, and of course, how she might strengthen and better define said protocols.  Tick – tick – tick…”time’s a wastin” (June Carter sings in my head). As she stands in my doorway, I’m being questioned…I sit at my desk, searching through my volumes of “completed task emails” to find the one item she is looking for. I cannot find it…and thus, the email from the Inquisitor (with my supervisor’s name copied in the CC line) arrives in my Inbox. It is from the Inquisitor…asking for clarification on our protocol for this process.

I reach out to another manager, one of the women who trained me, searching for the lost document detailing my Protocol for said process. She laughs on the phone and sends it to me right away…she’s so good, thank goodness she has a copy of the document. I thank her profusely as this simple act with stave off the Inquisitor who will print the document, take copious notes, ask her questions in the margins, and come at me this afternoon for clarification on said Protocol.

Mind you, said Protocol has NOTHING to do with the Inquisitor’s position or her process. While she is connected somewhat to my position, it is a far stretch to imagine she needs to know the exact process. It is simply that when she wanted something specific, I was unable to produce or locate the item and thus, the Inquisition began. Tick Tick Tick…”time’s a wastin” (Love ya June) It’s not my job to manage her priorities; we have a department head for that purpose. The Inquisitor thinks the department head is the coolest thing since sliced bread…why not go to him? I follow a process for this one task…complete with Inbox folders, photocopies, etc. I’ve got it all in order, rarely if ever miss a step…tick tick tick…worrying is not on my to do list for today, not managed into my time. Not worrying potentially puts my own supervisor in jeopardy…my steps are like a choreographed routine; my supervisor’s dance would be more freestyle on this process.

Being a good, effective and efficient do-bee…I send a detailed email with said protocol attached to the Inquisitor. Immediate response “Excellent. This will be VERY helpful.” ummm, yeah…cuz you needed it, cuz it’s so urgent. Really?

Tick Tick Tick….Tick Tick Tick…rather than going off on a tangent or rant, I jump online and blast away on this blog. Therapy, embracing the lack of time management this mini-crisis has caused. Why do people do this? What is the point? Why does the Inquisitor need the detailed movements and elements of my position? (Would it be rude of me to ask for her protocols?) What does it solve other than me having to take time out to do HER chore of locating the protocol. It makes me crazy and worse, wastes my time…though I did get to come rant on my blog and already feel better. Irritated but better…let’s start again………………………………………………………..

Time management…managing time, priorities, work. In my office and with our daily list of items to be completed, processed, followed up on, and projects it is a crucial element of being and feeling successful. Each of the four women, myself included, has a specific group of tasks that must be completed to serve our small office…and minus a day of silliness here and there, those tasks are completed consistently making us effective and efficient managers of our time, tasks, responsibilities, etc. We do our work with little to no supervision…it’s why we were hired…our manager is here a few days a week at best because we are low maintenance and steady producers. We don’t need a bird on our shoulders to effectively and efficiently produce quality work during our managed time.

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