Learn to Negotiate Your Incoming Tasks/Assignments
Time Management – Negotiate Assignments: John has lots of interruptions. People keep asking him to do things. He wants to be a good team-player, but he also needs to focus on the right tasks, stay in control, and always follow-through on commitments.
Watch John as he considers the value of the task, consults his calendar to see his “white space”, and then negotiates to do the task within a time frame that won’t overwhelm him, and one that he can deliver on.
Negotiating New Assignments
Now I know that many assignments aren’t negotiable because your boss or customer just gives you the task and the deadline. But you might find in many situations that assignments and deadlines are negotiable. If you were to take a negotiating class, you’d learn that everything is negotiable. For example, you may get an assignment or a request from a customer, but you are working on a very task from another customer and are too busy right now. You might be able to say, “yes, I will do what you are asking me to do, but would Monday be OK”?
Being able to “see” your white space helps you negotiate new assignments better. Keep in mind that it’s really important to always follow-through on promises and commitments, and because of that, it’s bad to commit to things that you have no time for. Seeing your white space, or lack of white space, helps you sometimes say no, not now, or can I do this later?
Use Your Judgement
Obviously, you’ll have to use your own judgment, because every situation is different. The point is that many people never try to negotiate, and just say yes to everything, even to tasks that are impossible to complete on time, or are not at all connected to their goals.
Some people also agree to do things by impossible deadlines – which leads to really long work days, or missed deadlines, and broken promises. These are often the same people who blame others for giving them too much work.
Other people in similar situations try to take better control, and are careful before committing to new assignments, knowing they must not over-promise and then under-deliver.
Time Management – Negotiate Assignments
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