Most of us feel we can do without a constant sense of urgency, risk and danger in our daily work environments. Just getting our jobs done up to an acceptable level of competence is usually enough, thank you very much. But we perhaps often do not realise how much we depend on those relentless growls from our immediate line managers and constant threatening deadlines to actually provide the highest quality in our work.
In fast paced work environments (such as marketing, logistics and supply chain industries, consumer FMCG industries and technology and Information industries) there is necessarily a culture of strict deadlines, a need for skilled multi-tasking, and a robust constitution that can deal with new and unexpected problems while still providing a quality service. But keeping that standard of delivery up for long periods can clearly be exhausting. Unmonitored, this level of working can at best leave you with no energy for your life outside work and at worst lead to burn out, bad quality work and ultimately loss of the job itself.
So here are Peak Recruitment’s 4 steps for not only keeping your head above water but for also keeping your career and your social life glowing:
1. Know where your role begins and ends
When the ultimate goal is determined by deadlines there can be a tendency to feel safer if you complete the task yourself – whatever it is – to ensure service delivery. This leads to you possibly taking on tasks you are not skilled at, a confusion for the team over responsibility for organisational processes, and feelings of anger, frustration and exhaustion.
Re-visit your original job description and seek advice from your line manager to determine exactly what your job role is and what tasks are specifically involved. There will obviously be times when good team work will call for you and colleagues to share tasks, but there also needs to be times when your own workload must take priority. If the former is happening regularly seek advice – it does not show your weakness, it allows the company to streamline processes.
2. Multi-tasking vs Task focused
It’s a real skill keeping all those plates aloft at the same time and for all those individuals who take to Multi-tasking like a duck to water I have nothing but praise. But it is not always the best answer to the problem. Fast-paced service or product delivery calls for team members who are necessarily adept at their own particular tasks within the process. When you start taking on other tasks simply for the purpose of meeting deadlines the quality of your own input is likely to suffer in every sphere. Sometimes it is more effective for all concerned to remain task-focused.
3. De-clutter and manage time
Working in a fast paced environment calls not only for acute time management skills but a need to understand overall processes in order to prioritize successfully.
Use organisation tools and techniques: Once your immediate work place turns into chaos (i.e. your desk) it is likely functioning will follow closely followed by your mental and emotional state. Take time to de-clutter your work area and employ tools such as diary, task lists and calendars etc.
Prioritise: This is as important as time management itself in a fast paced culture. In this type of environment, you are going to be met with unexpected last minute issues and problems so an ability to prioritise your work is essential. Be careful that tasks which are being moved on are not continually placed on the back burner and use a system that takes this activity into account.
Manage distractions: Discipline yourself to use the tools at hand however fast things are moving. Cut corners once and it is likely eventually it will become a habit. Commit to a time management study and find out how much time you are spending checking twitter, checking emails, doing work you should not be doing, playing Candy Crush… Even by re-visiting your tasks you can find you are often wasting precious time on tasks which just do not need to be done or can be streamlined.
4. Look after yourself
If the only reward you have at the end of the day is the fact that you survived and completed all the necessary company tasks, it won’t be long before the sound of the alarm clock signals despair. We all need time to ourselves in the day, only if it is to relax, enjoy a cup of coffee, revel in the latest gossip or just stretch our legs. When creating your task list for the day factor in “me” time. And stick to it – it’s important. If you do not, quality of work could suffer, you could burn out and you could put your job at risk.
In the same, way a fast-paced environment calls for that special individual who is resilient with boundless energy. A healthy body will lead to a healthy mind which is able to function where others whither. So consider taking part in hobbies or exercises (even during your working day) which are likely to keep your physical and spiritual health toned.
Peak Recruitment is the leading recruitment agency in Thailand. A human resource specialist, our pioneering methodology and commitment to deliver exemplary services has placed us first for executive recruitment in Bangkok. As a team, we offer a distinctive approach that you just won’t find anywhere else in Thailand. For contact information click here