The benefits of being organised at work are more than just getting your work done on time. You will notice a change in your work life balance, you will feel more positive about life in general and your stress levels will go down too. You may even find yourself making more money; what better incentive to get more organised.
Plan your day
Structure your time by allotting at least 15 minutes at the start of the day to plan your ‘to do’ list. Think about how many interruptions you usually get during a working day. If you don’t get any then you can plan for the whole day, but if half of your time is taken up with stopping to answer the phone or other queries you know that you can only reasonably plan 50% of the day. You can then embark on a structured day feeling empowered and in charge.
If your usual routine is to come in and just start reading emails, you will soon feel overwhelmed. Make sure you schedule emails into the diary along with other tasks on your ‘to do’ list and turn off notifications for the rest of the time. There is no rule that says you have to answer an email the minute it arrives. Imagine if the email was a person bursting into your office and demanding their question be answered that very second. It just doesn’t happen that way, people are not that rude. Email has become the way we communicate in the business world and the sender does not expect an immediate response, far from it. Set yourself deadlines and make sure you reply within 24 hours or whatever works for you. Colleagues will subconsciously learn this and any urgent questions will be asked by phone or in person.
For colleagues who are nearby, get into the habit of phoning them or talking in person. Emailing someone who is literally 10 or 20 steps away seems ridiculous when you really think about it. What did we do before email? We talked to each other. Email has made us lazy and can very easily be misinterpreted. The true meaning of your message is conveyed in the tone of your voice your facial expression and your body language. Humans are very sensitive to these things and when they are removed, the words alone can be cold and easily misunderstood.
Write stuff down
Never imagine that you’ll remember something, it’s always best to write down thoughts as they occur to you, and make sure you have a system. You might like to keep all your notes on your phone or in one notebook, or if you have lots of projects on the go, it might be better to keep notes for each one separate in it’s own file. It really doesn’t matter how you keep notes just make sure you are using a system that works for you. The worst thing you can do is jot down a note and find it in your pocket months later. That’s no good to anyone and you’ll kick yourself that you forgot to include the wonderful idea that’s been hidden.
Take proper breaks
It’s proven that taking a break from your work will improve your mindset and you’ll be much more productive. The quality of your work will decline if you just keep slogging away. You are your own best judge of when you are tired or feeling jaded, but usually a break every couple of hours is good for you. Just stepping back and having a breath of fresh air or making a hot drink will give you a mental reset. You’ll return to your desk with fresh eyes and be much more energised.
Get to know your team
Understanding the work styles of your colleagues will have the obvious benefits of improving teamwork and good relations but it will also go a long way to help you get organised.
For example, you may have a colleague that everyone finds difficult to deal with. The best solution is to try to understand their personality. Maybe they are very single minded and get immersed in a project. Their difficult behaviour could stem from being interrupted when they are concentrating. Giving that person space could be the solution to understanding them and will bring out their best side
You need to realise the best approach to take with each person and treat them with the respect their working style demands. Taking the time to learn your colleagues psychology will really help you work together more efficiently.
If your desk is tidy so is your mind. If you have cluttered heaps of papers in your office and hundreds of post-it notes, it will get your anxiety levels rising, as you worry about the amount of work you have to tackle. A clean work area will feel much less stressful and clear your mind of worry. This applies to your digital space too. If you have files that need clearing or a thousand desktop links that you don’t use any more, take the time to tidy the mess.
Use calendars and planners
Tracking a project on a wall planner that everyone can see is a good way to keep it running smoothly. Colour coding is a good way of organising this and assigning a different colour to each client, project or task will help your mind associate what needs to be done with a particular colour. Keeping the colours consistent will train your mind too. If proof reading is always in orange and brain storming is always red, you will know what stage a project is at without even reading the words and you’ll picture your work schedule much better.
Create a filing system
Keeping your files in good order is the best way of storing information and staying organised. It doesn’t matter if it’s a filing cabinet an a-z file or a digital cloud. As long as you have a system you will feel organised; and try to stay on top of the filing too. It’s difficult if you are a busy person, but that sinking feeling when you can’t find something can turn to disaster if it’s vital information. Use systems that help you stay up to date like scanning documents to the cloud. At Xpert Technologies we have a really efficient app that is just for scanning invoices and receipts. Instead of having pockets full of oddments you can just scan them with your phone the minute they are in your hand and forget them. The software will sort them into order ready for when you need to do your monthly accounts, or your tax return. For more information click here… Invoice Scanning – Xpert Technologies (xpert-technologies.co.uk)