You enter your office and sit at your desk with the best intentions “today, I’m going to get things done” then a few emails arrive, you take a phone call, spend some time searching for the one piece of paper, you know the one with that important information and that phone number you need. Before you know it, it’s 5 o’clock.
Here are 3 tips to staying productive during your workday.
- Find the system that will support your focus to get things done. What system do you have for your workflow? A basic to do list? The hipster PDA? A 1-31 file system? Don’t have a system? Start with a simple list of things you need to accomplish. Get it out of your head and onto paper. Begin each task with an action verb. They will get you motivated and focused.
- Get the papers that are stacked and spread across your desk in place. If it’s not spread across your desk, check on your computer desktop, organize and file those too. Put papers you need in a system that makes sense to you. Purge what you don’t need. Put personal items in one drawer so that they easy to find. Same thing with all of the office supplies, find a drawer and get them all in one place. Clear off your desktop and put back only what is essential and a few items that reflect your personality.
- You have one life-use one calendar. Just keep one. Whether it’s a paper calendar or one on your phone or computer. Find a calendar that is portable, has enough space and a format that works for you. Record and keep track of everything. Keeping more than one person’s schedule use different colors in pen or with the click of a button, if it’s digital. Schedule time to complete tasks and organize and file your papers.
- Don’t multi-task. Many professionals agree that blocking your time is far more effective than multi-tasking. Studies show that multi-tasking can negatively affect your brain in terms of memory and focus. One of Arlene Dickinson’s top tips is to slow down.
“Work on one task, finish that task and then move onto the next one.” ~Arlene Dickinson
If you can’t seem to get things done and get your work under control, consider hiring a professional. A productivity consultant can suggest ways you can work better, faster, and more focused.
Creating an organized, efficient workplace can pay off in a big way. Next time you walk in the office with intentions to get things done, you will have a basis to work from and a clear way to move forward.
Margo Brown is a Productivity Coach, with Wave Productivity and works with entrepreneurs, small business owners and business professionals to help them get more focused, organized and productive in their workplace. She serves the Tempe and Phoenix area in Arizona. Whether it’s social media, email or piles of paper, if you want to get more organized in your office call 602-677-8275 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.