Practical Organization Tips for Busy Working Professionals
Do you use a lot of time looking for documents, your phone, emails, supplies or your charger? If so, you are losing your productive time. Luckily, you can get back on track by exercising a little planning, consistency, and commitment. A highly productive professional is one that does more within a short time. Considering the increasing demands in the workplace, it is essential that you focus on increasing your productivity.
Purge Your Workspace
If you are struggling to control your workspace and wondering where to start, this is for you. Start by taking care of the unnecessary items that are occupying your valuable office space. Go through the stack of papers and get rid of all duplicates. Clear the drawers and filing cabinets. Use unique office supplies to organize the area. You can throw out the documents you have not used in the last eight months or are unlikely to use.
Avoid Piling Up Things
When you are doing ten different things at the same time, it is tempting to focus on one task and leave everything else. However, if you can take care of something in a few minutes, it is advisable to do it at that time rather than putting it off for later. Consider clearing tasks that take the shortest time before moving to those that consume a massive amount of time.
Craft a To-Do List
When you map out your day, you will know what to expect, and organization will be pretty straightforward. Write your tasks on sticky notes and paste them on a stickon whiteboard in your office. That way, you will not depend on yourself to recall everything because human memory is faint; thus, easy to forget. We use a lot of mental power trying to keep track of the stuff we ought to recall. Avoid wasting your precious brain power in attempting to remember things that you can quickly back up.
Create a Filing System
Developing a filing system is not a matter of one size fits all. The method you choose to use will depend on your preference and the type of work you do. Some people will prefer having physical files while others will opt for electronic records. Ensure that you use a master index for the files to avoid duplicates. Place the most recent data in the front row for easy access. It is advisable to take stock of the files occasionally to ensure that they are all in there.
Find a Pattern to Your Workflow
The human brain is hardwired to follow a routine. Even when things are chaotic, there is always a pattern out there that you can follow for a successful schedule. Take some time to survey your calendar and see how your days work out. Are Mondays often slow and how much do you achieve on Fridays? Take note of the days that seem to have a seemingly busy schedule and spread out the tasks to the days that have a low workload.
Theme Your Days
Group your tasks into various categories such as management, marketing, and communication. The types should be the same number as your working days. When you theme your days, it will help you to stay organized by completing a group of tasks in one day. The themes will increase your productivity because it is easier to focus on one thing rather than working on different tasks. Allocate a color for every day to quickly identify the theme. Draw a chart with the color codes on a post it whiteboard. For instance, you can use blue for management day and orange for marketing day.
Break Down Heavy Tasks
Procrastination doesn't mean that you have a heavy workload; it is a sign of being overwhelmed. When you have a huge responsibility ahead of you, it is possible to feel like we cannot handle it. Eventually, you end up not tackling anything. That is why you should divide the seemingly difficult responsibilities into smaller and more manageable portions. If you have a massive presentation in a few days, plan to research today, prepare the slides tomorrow, fix the graphics the day after tomorrow and practice the presentation the day after that.
Your life as a busy working professional is not the easiest. Sometimes organizing it seems impossible. However, with the right motivation, even the smallest steps will make a huge difference. Follow these tips, and you will realize that things will get better with time.