Do you start the beginning of the year determined to be more organised, but by mid-January find your diary rarely makes it out of your handbag? Improving your organisational skills could leave you stress-free. Follow these tips for staying organised at work in 2012.
1. Start at home
If you arrive on time you’ll be more likely to leave on time, so start at home. Separate your wardrobe into work wear and casual wear to save time in the morning. Likewise, get into the habit of preparing a packed lunch. Not only will this be a money saver but you’ll be less likely to leave your desk to visit coffee shops during your working day.
2. A nice cuppa
If you start your working day with a cuppa, then make it as soon as you arrive. That way when you do sit down you’ll be able to focus on your work without getting up 20 minutes later.
3. Check your diary
Look at your day ahead and plan when you are going to accomplish certain tasks; and be realistic!
4. Keep on top of your inbox
Your inbox should only include emails which need to be actioned. File away other emails in sub-folders focussing on different projects or clients. This will leave your inbox clutter-free and stop you feeling overwhelmed.
5. Don’t get distracted
Are you guilty of taking “just five minutes” to check updates on Facebook or to see what’s going on in the world? These distractions can eat into your work day so try to restrict them to 10 minutes a day in total.
6. Turn your inbox off
Constantly replying to emails will stop your work-flow. If your job allows, close your inbox and instead allocate email slots during the day. For example, turn it on at 9am, 11am, 2pm and 4pm. Reply to all emails at these set times and then turn your inbox off again.
7. Take a break
Don’t work through your lunch-break. Take at least 15-20 minutes out of your working day to get some fresh air. It’ll improve your concentration and help home time to come around quicker.
8. Use your calendar
When given a deadline for work, add it to your calendar software on your PC. Simply create an event on the day it’s due – stating what the deadline is. Reminders will then pop up on your screen so you’ll never miss a deadline again!
9. The ultimate list
At the start of the week write a short list of big tasks. Stick it to your computer so you don’t lose sight of the main aims for the week.
10. Before you leave
Write your to-do list for the next day numbering the tasks in order of importance. Keep the list do-able and then have a clear up of your work area before heading home. You can then switch off, knowing all you have to do the following day is turn up and look at your list!