Updated: Aug 24, 2019
Have you ever struggled to get through your day and then wondered where did the day go? Early in my professional career I realized how important it was to be well organized. If I did not make all of my responsibilities a priority and careful dedicate time to each important area of my life (work, home, and play) than everyone around me suffered. Sometimes it seemed like I was walking a tight rope with vicious alligators waiting below if I were to fall. Ok, perhaps that is a little more dramatic. Keeping all the balls in the air can be challenging, which is why I began to mark out time on my calendar for intentionally planning. I am still working on the whole balancing thing, but more often I keep a healthy balance allowing me to be present for the the task at hand. So here are my tips to staying organized at work:
People come first and family comes before business - always! How does this apply to being organized? Organization is about life, not just the 9-5. Balancing it all can be tricky and starting with this philosophy may prove beneficial.
Don't multi-task. Let email, text messages, phone calls wait so you can fully focus on a project or meeting.
Delegate whenever possible. I am convinced that this creates a stronger moral for your team. Let's face it, everyone wins!
Collaboration is key for many businesses and in a growth stage more grey matter is critical for the long term view and goals in most organizations.
Build in your quiet time/rest/vacations and don't budge when that time slot is requested by a colleague or client. Budgeting time is crucial to maintaining a healthy balance. We are more productive when we take time for rest.
Remember the golden rule and never compromise on this maxim.
Reduce meetings by 25%. Most often the extra stuff can wait and it reduces productivity and possibly the overall moral of your team.
Create a workspace that gives off creative vibes you need to feel relaxed. Find the perfect candle for your ultimate relaxation. A relaxed brain is a productive creative brain.
Find a space outside of the office to work that allows the quiet time you need to focus.
Take 10 - 20 minutes schedule breaks 2 or 3 times a day to refresh and stay focused.
Turn off notifications for apps that redirect your focus and consider grouping them in one folder on a screen that is not the home page. This will allow you to open the app when you have time available and prevents the app from running your day for you.
Choose a method your team should reach you in an emergency. That way you will never miss anything important.
Face to face conversations should be priority over using a communication app or email. Whenever possible, make a face to face connection, phone conversations are second, and use email sparingly unless there is a need for a paper trail.
Reverse engineer big projects and set weekly meetings for a team effort or carve out time just for yourself to work on the task. Always celebrate when a major goal is complete.
Create lists for tasks that need to be accomplished. If you have a team working on individual task for a larger project use a planning tool that will help everyone stay on top of deadlines. See "tools that rule" for apps that I love.
Make sure you have dedicated time for yourself every morning. 30 - 60 minutes will get your day off on the right start.
Be considerate of time you request from others. My personal rule: I will always give ample notice when requesting support from a team member, unless it is an emergency. This is especially true if it is due to lack of planning. You know the cliché, your emergency is not my emergency.
About HLA Consulting
HLA Consulting, located in Huntsville, AL home to NASA and the US Space & Rocket Center, provides high-level strategic communications, public affairs and marketing services to local and national highly recognized firms and organizations. The HLA team takes pride in making businesses great by building a strong reputation, raising awareness and expanding their constituency.