Throughout my career I have been a life coach, have worked on projects and programmes, have run offices of over 600 staff, and have upwards-managed jet-setting CEO's.
This basically means I get paid to be organised.
To me, being organised comes naturally – I was raised to believe that “everything has its place, and there’s a place for everything”. Having mild OCD meant that I not so much took this to heart, but embraced it whole-heartedly. Everything in my wardrobe and shoe racks has a certain space where it always lives, and likewise my pantry, fridge and linen closet.
But being organised isn’t just about having a neat wardrobe, it’s also about how we organise our life and work. Whether you’re coordinating a party, arranging doctors or vet visits, or simply doing your day-job, being organised is incredibly important, and helps increase productivity and efficiency.
Being organised at work is incredibly important to keep yourself achieving your goals and KPI’s, and keeping your boss happy! However, it’s one of those things that can be easier said than done. So, wardrobe and shoes aside, the following are a few ways I try to stay on top of my workload in the office, and how I manage to not only organise myself but those around me.
Getting organised: how to be more productive at work
Create a list
Each morning I start a new task list for the day, copying over any incomplete tasks from the previous day, ensuring to leave one line between task – the space between tasks is there so I can write down updates, if required. Throughout the day, I add to the list, or tick off items as they’re completed. Doing this means I never lose track of a task that hasn’t been completed, and if asked where I am with a task I can provide an accurate answer and realistic eta.
Use your Calendar
Everything should be in your calendar – meetings, when reports are due in, when reports are due out, financial incomings and outgoings, etc. By having all of these in your calendar, both meetings, deadlines, and reminders, it’ll help you be more aware of what is coming up within the next month, or week. Knowing what is coming up, rather than relying on a reminder from someone else, is going to reflect better on you and your work, and will help you be better organised.
Know your limits
It is important to understand exactly how long it takes for you to complete a task, so you can manage your time more effectively. A simple email may take you ten minutes to complete, whereas a set of accounts could take you several hours. By knowing how long a task takes to complete, it means you can better manage your workload also, as you know you can get this task out of the way quickly before proceeding with that task, and it also means you can set realistic expectations of when any task will be completed.
Don't be late
Always be on time. Running late to work will throw out your day and you'll be playing catch up for the remainider of your time in the office. And when it comes to meeting, always be on time if not early, and always ensure you are prepared. Punctuality is incredibly important and not only reflects on you, but your work. If you can't get into the office on time, or attend the meetings you need to, people will begin to rely on you less.
Have a clear vision
Having a good idea of how you want something to look, or what you want a finished product to be, it means you are better able to focus your time and skills on development. For example, you don't start writing an email unless you know what you want to say, and this is the same for any project, report, paper, or product you are working on. Make sure to devote time to creating a clear vision of what it is you are doing, so time isn't wasted along the way with ideas, and half-formed projects being tossed out.
Communication is key!
This is essential for being organised! You need to be able to effectively communicate with your colleagues to not only convey your deadlines and timeframes, but to understand the timelines of others. If you comunicate efficiently, you'll understand the urgency (or lack there of) of any project that lands on your desk meaning you are better able to manage your own time and workload. Without clear communication it's difficult to not only organise yourself and your work, but those around you.
Being organised is easy if you put your mind to it. How do you stay organised at work?
xx Bry Jaimea