Schedule Helping Co-Workers
Mostly happy people, which includes most of you, are usually more than generous with your time. Always willing to help someone else. However, new research from Michigan State University shows that helping co-workers in the morning doesn’t always make you happier at work. In fact, if you start your day tired, helping others can lead to negative behaviors in the afternoon.
Here’s why: You get to work, sit at your desk ready to start your day, which means you have planned what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it. Then a co-worker pings, calls or stops by your desk to ask for help. You didn’t plan on the additional task so you get off schedule as your day is just kicking off. If your schedule isn’t already full, it isn’t a big deal to help someone else. But, most people have full work schedules.
Week 10 we discussed the Block and Tackle approach to time management. It’s not that you shouldn’t help your co-workers; you should when you can. So, try this approach to stay on schedule:
1. When someone asks for help ask, “Is it urgent?” If not, then look at your calendar and say, “I can help you at a time that fits into your schedule.” You may also ask how much of your time they’ll need. Try to prioritize the needs of your co-worker, but not over your own work tasks.
2. If the task is urgent and you can squeeze in time to help almost immediately, like if it’s a quick question, then make sure you take a short break away from your desk afterwards or a non-work talk lunch to re-center yourself to focus on your tasks. Also, move something that you planned to do in the morning to another time.
3. The next time you need help with something try to set an example by asking someone when they can help you with X. Also, let the person know about how long you think you’ll need. Is it a 5 minute question, a 15 minute discussion or longer?
Managing your time helps you stay Happier @ Work.
I’ve recorded this week’s tip for you. You can download it if you’d like to take it with you!