Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 | 5 min read
Eniko Tarkany-Szucs (@enikotsz) is a London-based Solutions Consultant at Sprinklr, where she works with the sales team to develop unique solutions for client needs.
For two years, she has served on the board of DevelopHer, a nonprofit dedicated to elevating women in technology. On November 29th, in partnership with DevelopHer, General Assembly is hosting a panel featuring Eniko and a group of female business owners, managers, and CEOs who will discuss the art of being productive – as opposed to just busy – in the workplace.
In advance of the event, titled Get Things Done: How To Be More Impactful Than Busy, Eniko shared her thoughts on staying productive in today’s workplace. She also discusses the unique challenges that women face in the workplace, and offers advice for maintaining a balance between work life and real life.
To hear more from Eniko, click here to register for the event.
What is your approach to managing the many tasks you have on a given day? How do you decide to prioritize one project over another?
I always try to look at my workload holistically, looking at what I have planned for the week and then for the day, blocking out time so that I can prepare without being interrupted or overbooked ahead of time. As a Solutions Consultant, our job involves a lot of preparation for each meeting we go to, so we need to ensure that we plan our time well.
My calendar is always open so I can be transparent about my availability. I like to prioritize by deadlines, but also by how long a task will take, by first finishing off easy admin type tasks or those that won’t require a lot of effort, and then set time aside where I can dive deeper into the more complex tasks.
Do you have advice for people who struggle to set boundaries in the workplace?
Giving people a reference point like your calendar so they understand your availability, or if someone is constantly asking you questions that disrupts your flow, telling them that you are in the middle of something but if they put 15 minutes in your calendar you can hash it out with your full attention. I also find headphones are a great ‘do not disturb’ sign.
In our always-on world, what are some unique challenges that women face?
Image and personal brand has become something that everyone is expected to have. Through that, there’s pressure on everyone but I think especially women to always look a certain way. I get overwhelmed sometimes by something that should be easy, choosing my outfit for the day.
For women, the question of clothing is more about who they want to be that day because we get judged about how we represent ourselves externally more than men do. There’s a reason why men who show up in a hoodie but blow people away with what they have to say are applauded, while a woman showing up like that to any meeting would be discredited immediately. I think it’s especially hard in the tech culture where it’s a ‘dress down’ culture in general as opposed to a bank where you have clear guidelines of how you’re expected to dress.
What’s the best way for today’s employees to be productive – as opposed to just busy – in the workplace?
Allowing yourself enough time to prepare for meetings/deliverables and not disregarding this time when something else pops up.
You work for a busy, fast-growing company. Do you ever feel overwhelmed? And if so, what’s your strategy for dealing with that feeling?
Yes, I do sometimes. I think the trick is to then very consciously set up some boundaries. For example, if I have a few very intense weeks where I am always on and I am starting to feel it’s starting wear me out, I consciously draw a line between work and private life, push myself less hard and stop from checking emails/Slack at all hours of the day. While it might seem like you’re not affected by being always on, you are and your mind needs a break. Sport also always helps, and so do supportive friends and colleagues at work who give great advice and make me laugh.
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