At Twill we understand that our industry is fast-moving and on any given day we are working with a number of customers to move their cargo all around the world. This means we have to manage our workload and time smartly.
In the first of our two-part blog series we asked a group of our Twillers, from various parts of the business around the world, for their experiences, top tips, methods and general advice in managing their workload and time.
This week we asked them about the biggest challenges for their time management and how they overcome them:
Prepare for uncontrollable forces
Barbara Peric, Head of Operations: “My team is based across the world which means, in my case, that I only have a short amount of time with my team in Asia or America each day. Giving them the same time as my colleagues in Europe can be difficult. Forces like these are out of my control but there are little things I can do – we have a team messaging app called Slack that allows me to set up notifications from certain people or on certain topics. This means if something comes through from our other offices outside of work then I’ll only be notified if it’s urgent – so I can be on top of things; but not picking up emails I don’t need to.”
Guadalupe Fernandez, Customer Care: “I’d agree completely that there are things we can’t control. I find it helps to ensure that, when I’m emailing those colleagues in other countries, I’m being robust in including all the information they might need. Even though I might be tempted to quickly fire off an email, in the long-run this will save us both from sending emails back and forth.”
Trust your team
Sanne de Vries, UI Designer: “From a design perspective, working at Twill is distinctly fast paced. It’s hard to describe the speed at which we develop our product unless you experience it for yourself! This presents challenges in terms of making sure no one is overwhelmed. There comes a point when there just aren’t enough hours in a day! So we need to enable others to make design choices independently. As we grow, we constantly try to find ways to make our work more accessible, so that everyone is aligned and can make use of different components, styles, etc.
“It’s important to give your team the tools to make decisions independently and then trust them to do that – it means products and projects can progress if someone is really busy, or is off work.”
Take your time and know your limits
Raju Kariya, Pricing Manager: “In the midst of life and work things can sometimes get lost in translation – sometimes literally! – or they can be unclear. This means you might assume things or rush tasks. I can speak from experience that it’s important to take your time when dealing with each task you have and ensure that if you’re unclear on anything then don’t be afraid to ask questions.”
Jesper Frandsen, Implementation Specialist: “I would add to that by saying that when you ask those questions, be sure to know what your limits are in your role, or with your knowledge of a task. We all want to move our work forward and support our colleagues, but it’s important to know when you need to say no, or when to ask for help as Raju suggests. It’s about quality as well as quantity.”
Remember to recharge
Sanne de Vries, UI Designer: “One of the lessons I have learnt is knowing what not to spend my time on, and reminding myself to unwind. I try to be mindful about how I spend my time when I’m not working, making sure I do something that helps to recharge. There used to be a time where my mind was never switched off; now I’m learning that having that time to relax is essential in order to be fully focused throughout the working day.”