Time, is on our side

Hello there!

I’m Jenny, one of the contributing writers for this awesome blog! While our focus here is to describe and learn from our customer service experiences, both positive and negative, I also want to spice it up a bit with some behind the scenes challenges we face on a daily basis in the customer service industry.

This week, my focus is Time Management.

In my almost 8 years of customer service experience, I have learned that Time Management is a skill will always continue to challenge me. While I am able to complete tasks and do a darn good job at it, I must say, I have learned these little tools along the way:

1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew!

Taking on many tasks at a new job shows enthusiasm and motivation to learn and grow. It shows that you are determined to succeed. But, after taking on too many tasks, more than you can actually handle, the opposite occurs. You become overwhelmed and frustrated. Your days edge longer and longer, trying to play catch up on your required tasks in addition to those you took on. You’re cranky and your motivation levels slide to a new low. Your work doesn’t get completed and the assignments you do finish, are not up to par. Yikes! Sometimes, learning the hard way is the best way, but the key is everything in moderation. Be realistic–what tasks can you handle on top of your regular job?  Don’t bite off more than you can chew or else you’ll burn out. And no one wants a burn out!

2. Take breaks!

Maybe it’s just me and my relaxed style, but taking breaks is KEY to complete tasks efficiently. While we all could work 10-12 hour days, without lunch or other breaks, is this really the best way to handle your job? Will you be able to give all of your attention, effort and smiles to customers if you’re frustrated and burnt out? Probably not. Breaks give you a chance to  breathe. They give your mind a chance to rest. You can tackle more customer support issues when your mind is refreshed and clear.

Natalie Grace of Demand Media says, “An August 2011 study conducted by Right Management says that one-third of workers eat lunch at their desk daily while 16 percent hardly, if ever, take lunch.” Read this article here: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-employee-breaks-40680.html

3. Delegate tasks!

As much as this might hurt your pride, you’re not superman or superwoman. Sorry. You can try to do everything on your own, but then you are 1. biting off more than you can chew and 2. probably not taking breaks. This then leads to stress and poor quality of work (and life). Delegating tasks efficiently to others helps encourage focus and actually finish them on time. Also, delegating encourages team work, which if done correctly, increases morale at the office.

But, delegating isn’t easy. Learning to let go of your task and ask for help is sometimes a difficult process. Lisa Barone of Small Business Trends talks about “How to Let Go and Delegate a Task.

I’m sure I have more ideas for this, but right now, these are the three that stand out in my mind. I’d LOVE to hear YOUR time management tips, however. Please make sure to share!

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One comment

  • This is some great, practical advice Jenny. As customer service professionals, how often does “Biting off more than we can chew” affect our ability to reach the customers we are responsible for? Delays and shoddy work are not components of Better Communication. So here’s to better management of our time!

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