Creating efficient systems and practices (managing busy work)


There are two cases to consider in this scenario.

Case 1: You have just taken over the coordination role and are starting to regret taking it on. There is just so much work to do. Every day there are emails from students, prospective students and supervisors, and then the Faculty wants immediate responses to its requests for information. Sometimes you don’t even know the answers to the questions, so you have to spend time asking others before you can respond. You can’t imagine what it will be like during scholarship ranking and application time, or when you have to coordinate the reviews and presentations of the candidates at the end of the year. You’ve had enough and, since you can’t quit the role, have decided to take a more methodical approach.

 Questions for consideration

  • How might some of the REC processes (e.g., applications, enquiries) be streamlined?
  • Are there technologies to support you?
  • What types of relationships might you develop to help you?
  • How might you best use administration staff to help?
  • What time management techniques (of your own time) might you use to help?
  • What would you have most wanted to have been briefed on when you started?

 Case 2: You are about to finish your term as a coordinator. When you began three years ago, the previous coordinator gave you a pile of papers and left the university. You don’t want the incoming coordinator to face the same old challenges as there are new issues they will need to tackle. You have been thinking about planning a transition.

Questions for consideration

  • What would you have most wanted to have been briefed on when you started?
  • What would a realistic transition process look like?
  • If you were to prepare a handover document, what would be in it?
  • What tips would you provide on working effectively with colleagues?

Some responses to these two cases from colleagues can be found here.

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