Appointments – Lessons Learned Early in My Career

Often times we look back at our careers and we start seeing things we could have done better, habits that we could have developed that would have given us a better output and winning outcomes. One of the things I have learned over the years is that time management on its own is a myth. What works is life management and when that is in place you will develop principles that will determine what you do; when you do it: and how well you will do it. One of these principles I now embrace as a result of this insight is that making appointments and demanding that others do the same when dealing with you will make you more productive. I did not arrive at this place in one day. It was a gradual journey.One of the disadvantages I had early in my career was having an office in the Harare Central Business District in Zimbabwe where I come from. While it was a convenient location for business, it was also tempting and convenient for anyone who wanted to drop in and say “hi” during business hours. I soon realized that I was also guilty of dropping in on friends for social visits at their workplace too because, at the time, I didn’t feel there was anything wrong with it. This practice was disruptive to work as there are only eight hours to work in a day. Equally, I used to receive personal phone calls and also make personal calls on the work landline speaking endlessly to friends about anything and everything. This was before the wide usage of cellphones came into being. The alternative was the now antiquated phone booth. Blame it on youth, ignorance, whatever, it was just unacceptable to entertain social in-person calls or phone calls at work. Something had to give as I was falling behind on important deadlines and work tasks. It was at that point that I decided to keep socializing outside working hours.Lessons learned from this experience:1. Developing life principles will determine your time management principles. It helps you with what you should prioritize at any given time.
2. There must be a clear separation between home and work. Keep your social life separate from your work life especially during your work shift.
3. Even now with cellphones in widespread use, discipline yourself to make private calls during scheduled breaks only.
4. Treat others the way you expect to be treated. If you find it inconvenient to have friends visiting you at work, chances are they also find it distracting when you do it but they may not have the guts to tell you.The other challenging experience finding myself in many meetings at work and I was lagging behind on my high-payoff activities which my actual performance was measured on. You may agree with me that sometimes the meetings at work do not end. One must decide which meetings to prioritize. The performance review at the end of the year does not focus on all these things but the “key deliverables”. I am sure many of us identify with this. I attended a personal development seminar where we were taught that we should spend at least 80% of our working time focussing on high pay-off activities, that is, those activities that bring the results that we are aiming for in the place of employment. The other 20% would account for menial, less important but necessary activities. disciplined timeLessons learned from this experience:1. There are meetings at work that add value to what you do and there are others that would be nice to attend but don’t contribute much to your output. Discern which ones are absolutely necessary to attend.
2. Always keep a diary. This helps you prioritize. You cannot rely on your memory and it is true that what gets written down gets done.
3. Do an audit of how much time you are spending in meetings and ask yourself how many of these are contributing directly to your “key deliverables”.
4. I learned to say “no” to meetings I had not agreed to in advance. This helped free up a lot of time.
5. How we handle and plan for meetings affects productivity whether one realizes it or not.What does this have to do with the importance of making appointments and keeping them? I would say everything. Making and keeping appointments is an important factor in any business, career, or even personal things we need to do. We spend more time in meetings than we realize. It is even more important in times like these when we work from home and we have to self-supervise and self-manage. These skills do not come naturally but can be learned. I hope I have helped in some way to put you on a path that will make you more organized and effective.

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University of Pennsylvania

The famous University of Pennsylvania is situated in the city of Philadelphia in the state of Pennsylvania in the country of the United States of America. The University of Pennsylvania is one of the few universities of the US that came into being at about the same time the country was established. As a result, the University of Pennsylvania boasts of a rich history. It is a reputed University and is part of the prestigious Ivy League group of universities. Benjamin Franklin, who was an important citizen of Philadelphia when Philadelphia and Pennsylvania were in their earliest stages of development, is credited with being the founder of the University. He was a student of the University himself. Franklin initiated several progressive reforms in the College of Philadelphia – that was the name of the University then – so that the College became one of the main seats of higher learning of the New World.

Aim, Goal, Motto

The University used the great Roman poet, Horace’s work to devise its motto. The English translation of the Latin words (composed by Horace), the University represented in its motto were: ‘of what avail empty laws without good morals?’ These words were changed gradually over the years. The present motto is: ‘laws without morals are useless.’ This is only a slight modification of Horace’s original words. As the University of Pennsylvania, also known as the University of Penn, proudly proclaims that ‘laws without morals are useless’, it should examine its own laws and morals thoroughly. Can the University be so cocksure of its own laws and morals?

Studies

The University of Pennsylvania is celebrated for its many departments or schools such as its School for Engineering and Applied Science, School of Nursing, College of Arts and Sciences and ‘The Wharton School’, the well-known B-School of the world. The University of Pennsylvania is eminent for encouraging its students to pursue multidisciplinary careers. The University urges its students to study for more than one degree at a time and to pursue majors in subjects that are not commonly studied. It also allows a great degree of flexibility in its course curricula so that students with children and working students can study comfortably at the University.

The University of Pennsylvania is home to several graduate schools as well where students pursue graduate courses, professional courses and research programs. Some of these schools are the University of Pennsylvania Law School, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science, and other schools.

Admissions

The University of Pennsylvania observes very strict admission procedures just to show that it is a great university and that it admits none but the best. It generally admits only 16% of the total number of applicants who apply to the University. It ensures that those it admits have secured top places in their respective high schools. Only 60% to 65% of the admitted candidates actually get through the stiff courses of the University and receive degrees. The University of Pennsylvania is ranked as one of the first 10 most difficult universities to secure admissions in, in the whole of the US.

On the whole, the University is also a seat of egotism apart from learning and higher education. Because it ranks within the top ten universities of the country, it thinks the world of itself. It automatically infuses its vanity into its students who think greatly of themselves when they graduate from the University. The students of the University of Pennsylvania feel that they have the right to demand respect from people who are ordinary and who are not so successful. It is sad that the more meritorious students are, the more haughty they become.

Life at the University of Penn

There is no doubt about the fact that the campus of the University is well-laid-out and beautiful. Apparently, the architects of the University had copied the architectural styles of Oxford and Cambridge, famous universities of England, when designing the University of Pennsylvania. The entire University campus comprises imposing Gothic edifices. However, some modern looking buildings have also cropped up in the campus during the last couple of years. The University of Pennsylvania boasts of some fifteen libraries and millions of books. The museum of the University of Pennsylvania showcases countless relics and artifacts to all its visitors. These exhibits are extremely ancient and belong to the Egyptian, Chinese, Mesopotamian, and Persian civilizations. Some of the statues and objets d’art on display also belong to the Latin American civilizations. The museum employs the talents of scientists in order to decipher inscriptions on and find out the ages of its various exhibits. The Institute of Contemporary Art in the campus of the University of Pennsylvania hosts several expositions throughout the year.

Like most American universities, the University of Pennsylvania allows students to lodge within its premises during their freshman year. Once, they become juniors and sophomores, they move out of the University campus and take up residences in the vicinity of the University.

Students of the University of Pennsylvania are typically impertinent but brilliant in their studies. Several Asian students apply to the University of Pennsylvania to secure seats in the University’s undergraduate and postgraduate programs, year after year.

The students are members of various student bodies, most of which espouse causes that appeal to the students.

Like most American universities, the University of Pennsylvania encourages its students to participate in sports and sporting activities such as soccer, rugby and basketball.

The University of Pennsylvania is pretty illustrious for being a seat of action. The University of Pennsylvania is one of the few universities of the US that is known for its liveliness and verve.

The University of Pennsylvania is a really good place to study and do research in. Hats off to the University of Pennsylvania for being one of the best universities of the United States of America!

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