Being organised at work can be hugely beneficial in so many ways. The most apparent benefit is of course increased productivity and the ability to meet personal and business objectives.
But further to this, staying organised can greatly reduce stress and anxiety levels, help you stay focused and allow for a better work/life balance (yay!).
Here are a few tips and reminders of things you can do to keep yourself organised at work:
Review your calendar for the week
Get familiar with what is already planned in your diary at the start of the week so you can forward plan the week ahead. Try to create some time blocks around anything compulsory that you can allocate to specific tasks on your to do list. Colour coding your calendar is a great visual way of distinguishing between meetings and planned tasks. If possible, it’s also good to allow for a contingency of say 30 minutes each day, for anything unplanned that comes your way.
Plan your day (and don’t look at your emails…yet!)
When you switch on first thing in the morning, it is very easy to get sucked straight into your inbox and start responding to new messages, but before you know it, half the morning has gone! Instead, try to get into the habit of taking 10 mins to think about the day ahead. Consider your priorities and write yourself a to do list for the day.
Maintain your schedule
Planning and allocating time in your day is great, but it does require some to work to maintain this schedule. There will be unexpected events, calls, requests etc but try to return to your schedule as soon as possible once you have taken care of them.
Use reminders and alerts
Email and phone alerts will help you keep on schedule for meetings and tasks. If you know you need to prepare for a meeting, set up the alert in good time beforehand, so you know when it is time to get prepping.
Write it down
When you are in a meeting, being briefed on a task or learning something new, ALWAYS write notes. Key information to write down includes important dates, deadlines, learnings and specific actions. Your future self will be so grateful to have something to refer back to!
Communication is key
Whenever you are given a new task, always remember to ask for a deadline. This is essential information to help you plan and prioritise your workload. If you feel you are hitting a bottleneck with deadlines and you know you will struggle to meet them, don’t be afraid to talk to your manager and try to find a solution together.
Are you one of those people with a desktop screen full of files? If so, stop this right now! A solid filing system (digital or physical) will save you time and avoid any panic moments when you need to locate a key document.
Multitasking is a no-no
Whilst multitasking can seem like an achievement, it can actually be counter-productive! For the best results, try instead to focus on one task at a time. By doing this, you will be less likely to make mistakes or be distracted. This will also enable you to monitor your progress and minimise stress levels.
And finally…take a break
Step away from the screen and regularly give yourself a few minutes to reset and refresh. A quick walk around the block or grabbing a coffee will help you will feel more energised and productive when you return to your desk. Ideally try to take this time during a natural break in a task or activity to avoid losing your flow.
Why not check out some of our other useful career guides: