Getting Organized for Success
As we begin a new year, getting organized for success can help us accomplish even more this year. If we want to become an even more valuable member of our team, these tips can help us sort our activities and time at work to become even more effective.
Clean Your Desk… and Inbox
Getting your workspace cleared of unnecessary clutter can do wonders for your mind. Keeping a clear Inbox also can help ensure important messages are filed away where you might need them in the future. Using both the trash can and the delete button can be liberating and also clear out a lot of old, unnecessary documents and files that you don’t need. Cleaning out messages in the Inbox every day can be a good discipline just like taking 30 minutes every month to organize your desk can give you a fresh, clean start to your work activities.
Technology offers many different kinds of reminder tools, but you also may be a little old school and enjoy writing a list on a piece of paper and relish the satisfaction of crossing off the activities as they are done. Whichever method is most effective for you, the main key is to adopt a method that works and that you can use. For larger tasks, set aside time on your calendar to complete them.
Sort Tasks for Completion
As you organize a to-do list, are there certain tasks that can be done in batches? Some tasks go together quite well or may need involvement from coworkers. Other tasks may be able to be done quickly. Batching these “fast” tasks together then finishing them one after the other can clear out a to-do list in a very short period of time. The momentum you will acquire after finishing a large group of tasks so quickly will carry you into those more involved tedious tasks with even greater fervor.
Important versus Urgent
Some items on your list will be urgent and others will just be important. Begin with the end in mind on your task list and decide which items must get done by a certain deadline and which are just important but not mission critical. If another coworker is waiting on you to finish a task, prioritize that one above others to avoid hindering their productivity too.
Don’t Always Say “Yes”
We like to say yes – especially to impress a supervisor or an executive. However, saying “yes” to every task can overload a to-do list and prevent you from getting the other important activities in your job complete. When asked to do a certain task, instead of saying “yes” right away, ask a few clarifying questions to ensure that the task is best suited for your skill set and that the task really requires the effort it might take to complete it. Often supervisors ask for items to be complete without understanding the back end work that goes into them. They may ask for something they think is “simple” but may require a team 30-40 hours to complete. Helping them understand the process can be invaluable communication to make you more effective.
Ask for a Deadline
When you accept a task, ask the person assigning it when they need it back or completed. This will help you properly categorize the task in your to-do list, so you can schedule when to complete it. Often we forget this important question and just add it to the daunting pile of activities we need to get done. The person assigning it may not need the item completed until next week or even next month, so getting that clarified up front can be a huge relief. We then can set our own deadline and give it the proper amount of time it deserves.
Getting organized will help you become an even more valuable member of your team. Hopefully these tips will help you streamline your workload and help you take a bit of pressure off yourself as you go about your daily activities and help you get more done.