Fatou covered a similar topic in her article about not being late, but this week I would like to take it a step further and discuss not how it impacts you, but how important it is that you consider the other person’s or people’s schedules.
Life gets crazy, things tend to pile up, we’ve all been there, and often, many of us are there right now. It is midterms, after all. However as these things begin to pile up, the need for time management is really important! Good organizational and time management skills are vital to getting through university, especially if you are on a schedule or a part of a team project.
Why is it so important to be organized and on top of your schedule in these instances? Because there are other people involved. Ultimately, whatever you do makes things either easier or more difficult for them in the long run, and if you don’t pull your weight, or don’t communicate about not being able to pull your weight because you don’t want to worry them, you’ll eventually wind up putting even more stress on your teammates, partners, or teachers, because now they have to either fill in for you, or readjust their schedule to fit your needs. Neither of those options are fair to them, because they also have their own problems and lives to attend to.
That being said, most people are incredibly willing to help their friends and teammates out, provided they have enough advance warning to make adjustments and offer solutions to them. I’ve done a few team assignments over the past few years, many of the problems with each could have been solved with more communication, instead of some team members disappearing for a month and showing up three days before we needed to present our work, providing only a quick “sorry, I just didn’t want to do it” (yes, I have received that from teammates before, multiple times) or “I didn’t understand the assignment” in explanation for their absence. Spoiler alert: the presentation didn’t go as well as we had hoped in either case. Communication earlier on would have saved us a lot of time and stress: had we known our teammate was struggling, we could have offered suggestions or explain the assignment in terms that would be more easily understood!
I know that nobody is perfect, and we’ve all had certain tasks or assignments slip through the cracks, especially during our busy seasons. However, it’s always important to try to remember how what we are or aren’t doing in a team setting is impacting those around us.
It’s also important that we don’t give our friends and team members a hard time if they do come to us and explain how they are struggling with their assigned task. Laughing at or mocking them, or being rude and refusing to re-explain something when they’re clearly trying their best and are reaching out in a moment of need isn’t fair either. Both sides have to be considerate of each other in order for everyone to feel comfortable communicating about where they are.
I suppose the main takeaway from this article is: be considerate, be open, and communicate. People will help you when you don’t know what to do if you communicate, and people will communicate with you if you respect them.