How to Become Organised in the Office
Becoming organised is probably the most important skill a small business and its’ employees can acquire. When we’re organised, we think more clearly and are ready to tackle whatever comes our way. Working in a chaotic, untidy environment is likely to give us brain fog and will obviously slow down our progress.
De-clutter & organise your workspace
Firstly, de-clutter! Clear our desks and drawers of any paperwork and stationery not immediately required and be ruthless. Be brutally honest with yourself as to what you need and what is surplus and wherever possible file things electronically.
Organise your workplace. Don’t underestimate the work time lost as well as anxiety caused by a disorganised working environment. Keep your workspace neat and orderly and you will be surprised how much your productivity increases.
Create a to-do list
Keep a list of “To Do” tasks and prioritise in order. Always plan ahead and avoid “Post It” notes stuck all over your desk and PC, try to keep everything in one secure list whether it be hand written, on your electronic planner or App or just a document named “To Do” – it’s all about the thought process and to keep us aware of what is to come. If you have notes all over the place, once you have chosen your method, start consolidating. Just make sure you can add, delete or adjust things on your list from anywhere. If you’re away from the office and suddenly remember something you had forgotten to add, send a quick email to yourself if possible or even write down on a note, then delete the email or destroy the note once transferred to your Master List.
Try to keep to your tasks for that particular day but, of course, the number of tasks can be flexible; for instance, if you spend much of your day in meetings, or your day brings lots of unexpected urgent “to do” assignments, you may need to reduce the amount of tasks you had envisaged completing that day.
Give yourself achievable deadlines
If possible, try to give yourself deadlines i.e. to complete X number of tasks before lunch and cross them off your list – no better feeling, but don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t done so. Sometimes it will just not be possible.
Allow yourself some free time at the end of the day
Keep 5-10 minutes free at the end of the day. Before leaving work that day, take a few minutes to check your Master list and add or subtract where needed. That way you’re ready to go the next morning without having to spend valuable time thinking what you need to do. Planning ahead always helps.
It’s a good idea to start with the most difficult tasks, jobs that you hate doing or what you’ve been putting off for some time. You’ll be mentally better prepared and have more motivation to tackle them first thing and once done, what a feeling of relief. The alternative is to put off to the next day, then the next day and the next …
Once a week set aside 30 minutes or so for review and planning. Use this time to track progress and review your Master List. It should work a treat.
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