(Niki Scott is on vacation. This is one of her past columns.)
If you're an executive who never seems to find enough hours in the day, two things are almost certainly true: Your stress level is far too high, and you need to follow some, if not all, of these time-saving suggestions:
*Delegate more tasks. If you try to do everything, you'll end up doing nothing well. Never do what someone else can do as well.
*Delegate more responsibility. Managers who try to hold onto power by keeping all the responsibility for themselves end up keeping all the responsibility for a long, long time. They also end up with disgruntled, resentful subordinates and co-workers.
*Insist that your secretary field calls and unwelcome visitors effectively. The average executive is interrupted every eight minutes -- no wonder you're harassed! Learn to say, "I can't give you my full attention right now. I'll get back to you as soon as I
*Eat light lunches to avoid afternoon fatigue. Snack on fruits and nuts, not sweets, for the same reason.
*Determine what times of day are your most productive, then schedule your work accordingly, whenever you can. If you're a morning person, schedule important meetings and work that needs your full concentration early in the day.
If you hit your stride in the middle of the day, open your mail, make comfortable phone calls and perform tasks that require less of your concentration early in the day; save the tough stuff for later.
*Control how your time is spent. Only you know what you must accomplish each day and each week. You're the one who must be in charge of how your time is spent.
*Arrange meetings away from your office or desk whenever possible. It's a lot easier to end a meeting when you can leave.
*Last, separate your work and personal lives as much as possible. Try not to spend your time at work worrying about your personal life, or your time at home worrying about your work.
This is easier said than done, it's true, but it's also true that most of the fretting and "stewing" we do when we don't separate the major parts of our lives is unproductive and a waste of time.
Questions and comments for Niki Scott should be addressed Working Woman, Features Department, The Sun, Baltimore, Md.