Karel van der Molen
Karel is an admitted attorney and a Master Human Resource Practitioner and Registered Mentor with the South African Board for People Practice, having obtained completed various qualifications in law, human resource management and financial services. Read more
Dear Karl, Please help. I am a very frantic person. I am a stress ball and feel like a ball on fire- most of the time. I really love working and getting things done, but I am continuously BEING DISTURBED due to the various tasks I am handling. It's the phone, then I am just concentrating and reconciling a problem account when someone needs petty cash and then stationery, a colleague wants to chat or the boss comes to talk or then I need to get a file completed and I just don't know how to m
Irene, I am sure that there are many many readers of the Women24 Careers website who can and do identify very well with the feelings and emotions that you are experiencing in your workplace.
I understand fully how frustrating it is when your well-organised, but difficult day is suddenly interrupted and disrupted by the queries and requests of colleagues, whether in person or by telephone.
But, it is clear that the issue is really about your reactions to this situation. And this is what is bothering you the most.
I think that, in the first instance, you should be commended for identifying the issue (notice that I do not call it a problem) – this is the first and most important step in bringing about a solution.
The second aspect that you need to realise is that your position is clearly a very pivotal one in the organisation. You are the manager of those items (petty cash and stationery) without which many organisations or units cannot function smoothly and because of this, the people who need these items cannot always control when these will be needed during the working day and week. And the only person from whom they can get these is you – and therefore you are an important part of their working day – and you have the opportunity of helping them, not only by providing them with these important resources, but also by giving them a smile and a kind word and making their day a little more enjoyable. But, this is difficult, I know.
In addition, you are also in control of important and difficult accounts – it is clear from everything that I have said thus far that you are someone who is highly thought of by your employer, in the light of the fact that you carry out these many duties and responsibilities.
But, how to deal with the emotions that you expressed in your question? Firstly, you know what the problem is – and that is the important step.
Secondly, I think that you should keep a time-sheet for a few weeks and see whether you can identify a pattern as to when you get the requests for petty cash or stationery. You can also see whether there are times of the day or week when other interruptions come along.
This might then give you an indication as to the quiet times (and I suspect that there might not be many) when you can deal with the problem accounts and when you can least afford to be interrupted.
It might also be a good idea to keep this time-sheet in order to show your manager as to the number of interruptions you receive in your day – if this does become a major problem.
It might also be a good idea to read one or two of the better books on time management or how to deal with workplace-related problems and issues. These will provide you with some very good insights and information as to how to deal with many of the specific issues that cause the interruptions and frustrations that you experience on a day-to-day basis.
I trust that this response has been of some help and assistance – please submit another question to the website if I can provide you with further advice.
Good luck – I have no doubt with a changed focus and approach, you will find your workday will become the enjoyable time that you want and that you are capable of having!