Strategies for a Successful VISTA Year TIME MANAGEMENT “It’s not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is, ‘what are we busy about?’” Myths versus realities a) Myths: i) External events control my life ii) I must meet the needs and demands of everyone around me iii) I should have no limits iv) … b) Realities: i) Can’t save up time, only prioritize existing time ii) Can complete a to do list of 10 items – don’t add any more; other people will do that for you iii) Working late or long hours isn’t the key to productivity; knowing where to focus your energy is iv) … Imagine events in your life falling into one of these three columns. Which columns should you spend a lot of time in? Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 No control or influence Some control or influence Total control or influence Procrastination a) Triggers: i) Fear of failure ii) Perfectionism iii) Thing that seem not useful or a waste of time; things that are imposed on you iv) Overwhelmed by enormity or difficulty v) Lack of clear goals or guidelines vi) … What are your personal triggers? b) Overcoming: i) Find or create a boost – sandwich unpleasant activities between tasks you enjoy to help drive you through the unpleasant ones. ii) Set a timer for doing an unpleasant task. “I only have to do this for the next 30 minutes.” iii) Match your specific strategy to overcome your procrastination to what triggers your procrastination in the first place Prioritizing your time a) It’s easy to be busy all the time and still procrastinating. 80% of our typical activities contribute less than 20% of the value of our work. What are some examples of these 80% activities? How can we focus on the top-value activities to make more effective use of our time? b) imagine your tasks on this grid: Where should you spend most of your time? Urgent and Important Urgent and Not Important Not Urgent and Important Not Urgent and Not Important c) Prioritizing system: i) List tasks to complete ii) Assign a number (1-3) that represents the importance of each task, with 1 being the most important. iii) Assign a number 1-3 that represents the level of immediacy required. iv) Add together importance and immediacy scores. Tasks with the lowest numbers thus have the highest priority and should be completed first. Sample: Task Importance Immediacy Priority Rating 1. 1 1 2 2. 1 2 3 3. 3 1 4 4. 3 3 6 5. 1 2 3 Block out the most productive time of your day and guard it with your life! Energy Level High Medium Low 6am-8am 8am-10am Time of day 10am12pm-2pm 12pm 2pm-4pm 4pm-6pm DISC personality test In each row, circle one adjective that most describes you. Only circle one word per row. After you are done, add up how many in each column you have. The highest number is your time management style. Raise your hands if you are D, I, S, C. Do you think this is true about yourself? Would you add anything else? Why is this important, why do we do this? It’s important not only that you know yourself, but you know others. You may not give your supervisor this test, but you can recognize elements of these styles in them. So if you know your style, and you know their style, you can manage that relationship better. PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION Email etiquette: Leave important, sensitive, personal, or bad news for in person conversations – be mindful of what you put in writing, and don’t say anything you wouldn’t say in person Take a breather. Be emotionally neutral. Avoid sarcasm. Limit messages to one screen Be aware that people read about the first 3 lines of an email before moving on. Be as brief as possible. Make it easy for the recipient to respond – clearly identify what you’re asking of them Use a conversational tone, but use proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation Make subject line as specific as possible. Use EOM when possible. Reply all with care Respond within 24 hours Responding to critiques versus criticism: Recognize when someone is giving you a critique and accept it graciously. Critique defines goals sets deadlines offers positive feedback gives specific suggestions for improvement Criticism does not seek to understand accusatory no plan for change does not respect context Networking prepare o identify goals, prepare elevator pitch, determine what appropriate dress is arrive with enthusiasm o smile, use body language, stand tall, look friendly be positive and non-controversial o ask non-controversial questions to open up. What do you do, how long have you been there, etc name games o repeat someone’s name when they introduce themselves; look for something memorable about them; use their name in conversation careful with food and drink o limit your alcohol; don’t camp out at the buffet; avoid messy foods; hold drink with left hand so you don’t shake with cold wet hand Professional image first impression: do you want to start from a hole or a platform? o confident handshake; dress appropriately current events o stay on top of what’s happening in your city, state, country, world vocabulary o use proper grammar, avoid slang, learn jargon of your field o don’t feel the need to throw out big words when short ones will do study o study positive role models: how do they dress, act, speak? Project o Project confidence, poise, positivity – even if you don’t feel it on the inside o Good body language, eye contact appearance: hygiene, dress o quality counts; dress the way your boss dresses. Err on the side of caution. Communicating with colleagues words, tone, and body language o your words are only 7% of what you are communicating. Your voice and tone are 38%, and your body language is 55% encourage, restate, reflect, summarize o these are the keys to active listening. o Encouragement keeps them talking. “I see… yes… that’s interesting…” o Restatement helps clarify “what you are saying is… so I understand your idea is…” o Reflection shows that you understand “you feel that… it made you happy that…” o Summarization shows you understand what is being said “so if I understand correctly, the issues are…” don't criticize or vent in public o people are listening. Keep it private. return calls and emails promptly o every time you don’t, consider it a ding respect their time - be clear and concise o no need to hem and haw respect their space - don't hover or speak too loudly o if someone’s on the phone or in a conversation, come back later. If you are on the phone in an open office, recognize the distraction for others Advocating for yourself and your professional development How to say no give short explanation o ‘here’s the situation’ or ‘here’s what’s going on’ Use empathy o ‘I really wish…’ Offer 2 alternatives o ‘here’s what I can do’ – position what you want them to take last Ask confirming question o ‘which one of these would work for you’ If there’s pushback, ask what they would suggest, confirm trade-off o ‘ok I can do this but I’ll need to put this other thing on hold’ Summarize Follow-up Advocating for yourself don’t play the victim o take ownership, focus on the solution lunch and learn with people from different departments be proactive o don’t just stick to your job description; take care of what needs to be done keep an ear to the ground for opportunities. Sign up for newsletters, mailing lists. keep a portfolio of your accomplishments/achievements o if you don’t have time to do this, do you think anybody else does? review your accomplishments and goals on a regular basis – monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, etc share schedule with supervisor and colleagues so they now where you’re at be coachable o willing and eager to learn o willing and open to listening o open to guidance, asking for help One of the benefits of VISTA service is that your year is what you make it. No one else can make it for you. You have to be intentional and proactive – the clock is ticking.