- Mark your calendar. Use follow-up reminders, application deadlines and other schedule prompts to keep everything — including you — in the right place at the right time.
- Make research routine. A set schedule will help you make the most of your research time. Browse the Web and write emails during your 9 a.m. treatment. Call agencies after lunch. Put your phone on speaker if you are put on hold so you can cross other tasks off your list.
- Always ask for deadlines. Chances are if you leave something open-ended, it will drag out. So push for closure. When do I need to call back? How long will it take to deal with this matter? Ask for an anticipated callback date, and follow up if you don’t get it.
- Fill out applications immediately — or ASAP. Be sure to ask for the application deadline. And if you foresee a problem, ask what happens if you can’t get it in on time. Then do your part; get any applications or forms in as soon as possible for the best service.
- Confirm appointments. Ever show up for an appointment only to be told you’re not on the schedule? No one has time for that. Be sure to check in and confirm one week in advance by email, or call the office the day before.
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