Diversity Woman Magazine

FALL 2012

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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Upfront > The Office Answering phone calls and emails Dear DW, I'm busy and I get hundreds of e-mails and dozens of calls a day. How quickly do I need to respond to them? Signed, Swamped Dear Swamped, First of all, even though e-mail has largely replaced the telephone, don't put off returning business calls for more than 48 hours. It's discourteous, puts you in a bad light, and can lead to missed op- portunities. To manage your time, return all calls twice a day instead of all day long. If you can't talk long, inform the person and schedule a time when you can. If you have to leave a message, give the caller a day and time when you know you'll be avail- able to answer the phone. Offer the option of communicating by e-mail if you know that connecting via phone will be difficult. It's also okay to respond to a call with an e-mail telling the person you need to schedule a time to talk. Try not to get into content, unless you know the person well. Conference Call SHRM 2012 Diversity & Inclusion Conference & Exposition Date: October 22-24, 2012 Location: Chicago, IL More information: http://tinyurl.com/92ubqrw The Society for Human Resource Management's 2012 Diversity and Inclu- sion Conference & Exposition, "Making the D&I Connection," brings to- gether HR professionals to share best practices, and gain perspective and EHWWHU XQGHUVWDQGLQJ RI WKH EHQHëWV RI GLYHUVLW\ DQG LQFOXVLRQ 3URJUDP participants discover strategic business value in having a diverse, inclusive and well-balanced workforce. 14 DIVERSITY WOMAN Fall 2012 www.diversitywoman.com The same advice applies to e-mail. Forty-eight hours should be the maximum time it takes you to respond. Tirty-six hours is bet- ter. (E-mail time is like dog years: a little goes a very long way, and sometimes too long.) If you receive a large volume of e-mails, get better about filtering the messages. Make sure you have spam guards, separate out your business e-mail address from your personal one, and sign up for e- zines and mailing lists only if they are critical to your business. Take a week to track who is sending e-mail. Determine if these contacts are important or not, and inform them if you need to hear from them less frequently. Tell your colleagues to "cc" you or "reply all" with great discretion. If you have an assistant, ask that e-mails be screened. Tese tips should help you respond in a timely way, a critical component of business. DW Know Your Body's Rhythms I Shortcuts f you have to perform a mentally challenging task, do you prefer to take care of it in the early morning or early evening? Would you rather exercise in the a.m. or p.m.? Which meal do you enjoy the most— breakfast or dinner? According to Lynne Lamberg, coauthor of The Body Clock Guide to Better Health, 10 percent of us are up-at-dawn, raring-to-go early birds, or "larks." Larks' favorite meal is breakfast. Another 20 percent are "owls," who feel better and enjoy many activities, including exercising, later in the day. Owls prefer dinner. The rest of us do okay both early and late, with some more larkish and others more owlish. Your biorhythm preference is determined by your JHQHV VR GRQØW ëJKW LW VD\V /DPEHUJ 8VH LW WR KHOS you work smarter and faster, and boost your mood in the process. If you're a morning person, try to do tasks that demand creative thinking and concentration early in the day. Save e-mail and phone calls for midafternoon, when engaging with others can help you sail through a postlunch dip. If you don't get up to top speed until late in the day, relegate mundane tasks to mornings. %H DZDUH WKDW LI \RXØUH DQ H[WUHPH ODUN \RX PD\ ëQG night-shift work arduous. Anyone who works at night needs to focus on staying alert. Working rotating shifts may trigger chronic disruption of the body's internal clocks, what some experts call "social jet lag." $ JURZLQJ ERG\ RI VFLHQWLëF VWXGLHV VXJJHVWV WKDW persistent social jet lag may harm health. In women, rotating shifts have been associated with a lowered ability to become pregnant and a higher risk of devel- oping breast cancer and type 2 diabetes. So, for optimal performance and health, get suf- ëFLHQW VOHHS 0RVW DGXOWV QHHG VHYHQ WR HLJKW KRXUV every day, ideally at night. 7+,1.672&.3+2726

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