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Human Relations

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Human Relations­ MGMT611
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Lesson 30
IMPROVING WORK HABITS-2
(Developing proper attitudes and values)
Developing good work habits
The previous lesson was about the reasons or causes of delaying the tasks. This lesson describes various
methods of improving work habits and managing time. As a result, you can learn how to increase personal
productivity. Good work habits and time management are extremely important because of the current
emphasis on enhancing productivity. Good work habits contribute to success in personal life. Work habits
refer to a person's characteristic approach to work, including such things as organization, priority setting,
and handling of paper work and e-mail.
Effective work habits are beneficial because they eliminate a major stressor ­ feeling of having very little or
no control over your life. Time management and good work habits go hand in hand. If you are able to
manage your time properly, you can be more productive person. More productive persons are more flexible.
Developing the proper attitudes and values
Developing good work habits and time-management practices is often a matter of developing proper
attitudes toward work and time. Good work habits can be developed by following these certain
principles/rules.
A.
Develop a Mission, Goals, and a Strong Work Ethic
A mission, or general purpose in life, propels you toward being productive. Goals support the mission
statement, but the effect is the same. Being committed to a goal propels you toward good use of time.
Steven Covey recommends that you develop your mission statement by first thinking about what people
who know you well would say at your funeral if you died three years from now. How you like to be
remembered after death gives you energy to develop good work habits. Developing strong work ethic is
closely related to establishing a mission and goals.
B.
Value Good Attendance and Punctuality
Values help develop work habits. If you value punctuality, you would like to be in time. Good attendance
and punctuality are essential for developing a good reputation as a worker. Also, you cannot contribute to a
team effort unless you are present.
C.
Value Your Time
People who place a high value on their time are propelled into making good use of time. Those who value
their time are more difficult to engage in idle conversation during working hours. Being committed to a
mission and goals is an automatic way of making good use of time.
D.  Value Neatness, Orderliness, and Speed
Neatness, orderliness, and speed are important contributors to workplace productivity. Orderliness helps
most people become more productive because less time is wasted searching for documents and tools. Speed
is widely considered to be a competitive advantage. Avoid lengthy preparation trying to get things perfect
before you make a move. High quality must come quickly.
E.  Work Smarter, Not Harder
Developing the attitude of seeking to work smarter rather than harder increases productivity and
satisfaction. An example of working smarter, not harder is to invest a few minutes of critical thinking before
launching an Internet search. Many people save time by searching information over the Internet, instead of
going to the libraries.
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F.
Become Self-Employed Psychologically
The self-employed person is compelled to make good use of time, partially because time is money.
Developing the mental set of a self-employed person improves productivity.
G.  Appreciate the Importance of Rest and Relaxation
Proper physical rest contributes to mental alertness and improved ability to cope with frustration.
Neglecting the normal need for rest and relaxation can lead to workaholism, an addiction to work in which
not working is an uncomfortable experience. Recognize, however, some people who work long and hard
are classified as achievement-oriented workaholics who thrive on hard work and are usually productive. To
help achieve rest and relaxation, some people take fifteen-minute power naps.
By removing inner obstacles such as self-criticism, you can dramatically improve your ability to focus, learn,
and perform.
Time-management techniques
The appropriate time-management techniques are also necessary to achieve high personal productivity. For
these techniques to enhance productivity, most of them need to be incorporated into and practiced regularly
in daily life. Habits need to be programmed into the brain through repetition.
A.
Clean Up and Get Organized
An excellent starting point for improving work habits and time management is to clean up the work area,
and arrange things neatly. Eliminate clutter and simplify the work area so there are fewer distractions and
the brain can be more focused. Getting organized includes sorting out which tasks need doing. Cleaning up
is particularly important because so many people are pack rats.
B.
Plan Your Activities
The primary principle of effective time management is planning; deciding what you want to accomplish
and the actions needed to make it happen. To-do lists are a basic planning tool.
1. Where Do You Put Your Lists?
To-do lists should be placed on a calendar or day planner, or in a notebook, computer or other fixed
location. Some planners are part of a system that enables one to link daily activities to a mission in life. For
many people these planners are invaluable; for others they are a burden that leads to an over-structuring of
life. Make a realistic list of the tasks.
2. How Do You Set Priorities?
Priorities should be established for items on the list with a system such as tagging each one as an A, B, or C
item. However, taking care of small (C) items can be therapeutic.
3. How Do You Schedule and Follow Through?
To convert your list into action, you should schedule when you are going to do each of the items on the
list.
C.
Get off to a Good Start
Get off to a good beginning and you are more likely to have a successful, productive day. Start poorly and
you will be behind most of the day.
D.  Make Good Use of Office Technology
Proper usage of most high-tech devices in the office can improve productivity and quality. For example, a
laptop computer helps make one productive during potential periods of downtime. A major consideration is
that the time saved using office technology must be invested in productive activity to attain a true
productivity advantage.
E.  Concentrate on One Key Task at a Time
Effective people resist distractions that prevent giving full attention to the task at hand. Achieving the flow
experience is the ideal level of concentration. Conscious effort and self-discipline can strengthen
concentration skills. Set aside ten minutes per day and focus on something repetitive. Concentrating on a
key task is important, but sometimes doing two or three minor tasks at the same time can help save time.
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F.
Work at a Steady Pace
Working at a steady clip generally pays dividends in efficiency. A steady-pace approach accomplishes much
more than someone who puts out extra effort just once in a while. Despite the advantages of maintaining a
steady pace, some peaks and valleys in your work may be inevitable, such as in tax accounting. Napping may
be helpful to replenish your energy supply in order to work at a steady pace.
G.  Create Some Quiet, Uninterrupted Time
One hour of quiet time might yield as much productive work as four hours of interrupted time. Creating
quiet time could mean turning off the telephone, not accessing e-mail, and blocking drop-in visitors during
certain times of the workday. Many people do some work at home to avoid interruptions.
H.  Streamline Your Work and Emphasize Important Tasks
Getting rid of unproductive work is part of reengineering in which work processes are radically redesigned and
simplified. Reengineering contributes to work streamlining that eliminates unproductive work including
activity that does not contribute value for customers. An example of unproductive work is sending paper or
e-mail messages that almost nobody reads. To streamline work, look for duplication of effort and waste.
Important (value-contributing) tasks are those in which superior performance could have a large payoff.
I.
Make Use of Bits of Time
A truly productive person makes use of miscellaneous bits of time, both on and off the job. A variation of
this technique is grazing; eating meals on the run to make good use of time ordinarily spend on sitting
down for meals.
Stay in Control of Paperwork, the In-Basket, and e-Mail
Unless paperwork and e-mail messages are handled efficiently, the person may lose control of the job and
home life, leading to stress. The in-basket is the center of paperwork. For many overwhelmed workers, their
entire desktop becomes the in-basket. To stay in control, the in-basket should receive attention each
workday. Sort in-basket items into an action file and a reading file.
I.
Use Multitasking for Routine Tasks
Doing two or more routine chores simultaneously can sometimes enhance personal productivity. However,
it is important to avoid rude or dangerous tasks, or a combination of the two. A rude practice is doing
paperwork while on the telephone or in class. A dangerous practice is engaging in an intense conversation
over the cell phone while driving.
Overcoming time wasters
Another basic thrust to improve productivity is to minimize wasting time. The strategies and tactics
described next are directly aimed at overcoming the problem of wasting time.
A.
Minimize Day Dreaming
Allowing the mind to drift while on the job is a major productivity drain. Day dreaming is triggered when
the individual perceives the task as boring or overwhelming. Brain research suggests that young people
daydream the most. Unresolved personal problems contribute to daydreaming.
B.
Prepare a Time Log to Evaluate Your Use of Time
A time log can uncover time leaks, anything you are doing or not doing that allows time to get away. A
major time leak for many workers is schmoozing, or informal socializing on the job. Nevertheless,
schmoozing can help relieve tension and build workplace relationships.
C.  Avoid Being a Computer Goof-Off or Cyber loafer
An unproductive use of computers, however, is to tinker with them to the exclusion of useful work. Some
managers spend so much time with computers that they neglect the leadership aspect of their jobs. Internet
surfing for purposes not strictly related to the job has become a major productivity drain.
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D.  Keep Track of Important Names, Places, and Things
Have a parking place for everything, and make visual associations about where you put objects. By
remembering the names of important places and things you can also save time.
E.
Set a Time Limit for Certain Tasks and Projects
Spending too much time on a task or project wastes time. Invest a reasonable amount of time in a project,
but no more.
F.
Schedule Similar Tasks Together (Clustering)
An efficient method of accomplishing small tasks is to group them together and perform them in one block
of time. Using a block of time to make telephone calls is a useful example of similar-task scheduling.
G.
Bounce Quickly from Task to Task
Much time is lost in taking a break between tasks. After a brief pause, dive into your next important task.
H.  Be Decisive and Finish Things
A subtle way of improving your personal productivity is to be decisive. Decide quickly, but not impulsively,
and remember that uncompleted projects lower productivity. So finish tasks you have begun.
References:
Dubrin, A.J. (2005). Human Relations: Career and Personal Success. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey,
07458.
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Table of Contents:
  1. HUMAN RELATIONS:Some Guidelines for Effective Human Relations, Communication has 3meanings
  2. CULTURE AND PERSONALITY:Definition of sub culture, Definition of Personality, Types of Persons
  3. PERSONALITY AND STRESS:Personality, PERSONAL TOOLS TO CONTROL STRESS
  4. PERCEPTION AND INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOUR:Three concepts of personality, Bias in Perception
  5. PERCEPTION AND GROUP BEHAVIOR:Characteristics of Groups, Individual and Group Behavior
  6. ATTITUDE AND BEHAVIOUR:Types of Attitudes, Steps to turn attitude into action
  7. PERSONAL MOTIVATION AND ACHIEVEMENT:Needs and Motivation, Self-discipline and motivation
  8. SOLVING PROBLEMS SKILLFULLY:Problem solving and cognition, Ways to solve problems
  9. CREATIVITY IN PROBLEM SOLVING:Barriers to creativity, Tips to solve problems creatively
  10. HANDLING PERSONAL ISSUES:Self-Defeating Behaviour, Positive attitude to tackle personal problems
  11. CONFLICT RESOLUTION:WHY SO MUCH CONFLICT EXISTS, TECHNIQUES FOR RESOLVING CONFLICTS
  12. COMMUNICATION AND HUMAN RELATIONS:Process of communication, Improving gender barriers to communication
  13. ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION:To improve listening skills, Types of organizational communication
  14. UNDERSTANDING COMMUNICATION STYLES:Modeling communication style, Sociability continuum
  15. SELF-ESTEEM:Building process of self-esteem, Self-esteem and public image
  16. BUILDING SELF-CONFIDENCE:The importance of self-confidence and self-efficacy, Balanced Self-Confidence:
  17. BECOMING A LEADER-1:Assessing leadership role, Traits and Characteristics of Effective Leaders
  18. BECOMING A LEADER-II:Theories of leadership, Developing leadership potential
  19. GLOBALIZATION AND CROSS-CULTURAL DIFFERENCES:Religious Values and Bicultural Identities
  20. IMPROVING CROSS-CULTURAL COMPETENCE:Strategies to improve cross-cultural relations, More steps to improve Cultural Relations
  21. BUILDING GOOD RELATIONS WITH MANAGERS:Impressing your manager, Coping with a problem manager
  22. BUILDING GOOD RELATIONS WITH CO-WORKERS:Make Co-workers feel important, Maintain Honest and Open Relationships
  23. BUILDING GOOD RELATIONS WITH CUSTOMERS:Salesperson Represents the Business, Approaching the Customer, Excuses vs. Objections
  24. CHOOSING A CAREER-1:Ten Myths about Choosing a Career, Attitude toward and Perceptions about Myself
  25. CHOOSING A CAREER-II:Choosing a career and developing a portfolio Career, Suggestions for career Preparation
  26. FINDING A JOB:Targeting your job search, The Internet and Résumé Database Services, Extreme Job Hunting
  27. SIGNIFICANCE OF RESUME:Major types of resumes, Electronic Submission of the Résumé
  28. IMPROVING INTERVIEW SKILLS:Successful interview, Knowing the employer or Organization
  29. IMPROVING WORK HABITS-1:Reasons of procrastination, Techniques for Reducing Procrastination
  30. IMPROVING WORK HABITS-2:Developing the proper attitudes and values, Time-management techniques
  31. NEW MODEL OF CAREER ADVANCEMENT:Career portability, HUMAN RELATIONS SELF-ASSESSMENT
  32. TAKING CONTROL OF YOURSELF:Develop Outstanding Interpersonal Skills, Business etiquettes
  33. EXERTING CONTROL ON OUTSIDE ENVIRONMENT:Important communication tip, Exerting control over the outside world
  34. MANAGING PERSONAL FINANCES-1:Your personal financial plan, Steps in budget making
  35. MANAGING PERSONAL FINANCES-2:Basic investment principles, Tolerance for Investment Risks, Types of investments
  36. ACHIEVING HAPPINESS-1:Finding happiness and enhancing your personal life, The key to happiness
  37. ACHIEVING HAPPINESS-2:The Five Principles of Psychological Functioning, Your mind and Happiness
  38. ACHIEVING HAPPINESS-3:Need for intimacy, Working out issues with relationships
  39. APATHY AND ITS REMEDIES:Let us try to understand the various definitions of apathy, Coping strategies for apathy
  40. ENHANCING PERSONAL ETHICS-1:Influence of Culture, Common ethical problems
  41. ENHANCING PERSONAL ETHICS-2:Common ethical problems, Guidelines for Behaving Ethically
  42. HELPING OTHERS GROW:Being a Nurturing, Positive Person, A list of mentoring behaviour, Coaching skills and techniques
  43. REVIEW-I:What is a Human Relation?, Meanings of Communication, Two types of stress, Some personal problem, Communication style
  44. REVIEW-II:Steps to build self-confidence, Globalization, Building Good Relations with Co-workers, Good work habits
  45. REVIEW-III:New model of career advancement, Choosing your investment, Tactics for Dealing with Difficult People