Do you excuse your disorganisation because you think it unleashes your creativity? Is your unstructured approach to work causing frustration with bosses, co-workers, or clients? Believe it or not, even the most creative people need to get things accomplished in order to move their careers forward. Most find it difficult, if not impossible, to get things done when paperwork is piled up or deadlines are routinely missed. Here is how you can determine your weak points and boost your career with better organisation.
Assess Your Organisation Skills
It’s difficult to know where you need help if you’re unsure about the areas in which you fall short. Are you a procrastinator? Do you spend an inordinate amount of time each day checking emails, reading online news sites, or surfing social media profiles? Perhaps you have difficulty prioritising projects and simply end up picking nothing at all. On the other extreme, maybe you’re a perfectionist who spends too much time on each work task and misses deadlines as a result. To find out what areas you need to work on, try and take a quick onlinetime management test that can shed some light on the organisation areas that need particular focus.
Tips to Get Organised:
Productivity isn’t simply about staying busy. It has much more to do with workplace efficiency – doing more work, with fewer resources, in a shorter period of time. Sounds impossible? It’s completely doable with the proper amount of organisation.
Office Depot conducted a study several years ago on clutter and productivity. Almost one-third of those surveyed reported losing important documents because of a messy desk. More importantly, 47% admitted that their disorganisation led to lost and wasted time at work. Some of the things reported to cause workplace clutter included food, coffee cups and outdated newspapers. Before you do anything else, clean off your workspace and throw away unnecessary items. Once this is done, resolve to keep your desk and office uncluttered moving forward.
Make a List
For those of us who have difficulty prioritising tasks, making a “mental list” is often not sufficient. While there are apps and programs that can be used to stay organised, this comes down to personal preference. Decide whether you wish to leverage technology to prioritise your tasks and set reminders for yourself for key deliverables, or would simply rather use an old-fashioned notepad and pen. Either way, start making an actual list of projects. Review your list often, note your progress, and make changes as needed.
The way that you approach work has more with your organisational success than anything else. If you have determined that you are a procrastinator or spend too much time on social sites, it might be a good idea to find ways to limit those behaviors. Is there a way to block Facebook from your computer during working hours? Also, if large projects intimidate you, find a way to schedule them so that they are broken down into smaller, more manageable, chunks. Each of these small successes will inspire you to reach for more as your organisational skills improve.
Cut Down on Meetings
Meetings and endless email strings can be a massive time waster. Experiment with more direct communication methods, such as quick phone calls and informal hall meetings that can get much more accomplished in a short period of time.
As you work towards getting more organised, consider any outside organisational training resources that might give you some more tips and insights. These continuous improvements will do wonders for your daily work schedule and ultimately, your career.