The Art of Organising Your Work Life
With the new calendar year now well underway, many of us will be settled back in our regular routines and in the full swing of it all. Old habits will start to creep back into the way we work, and soon we start to find we spread ourselves too thin. Productivity goes down, accountability is reduced, and balls are dropped. If you are anything like I am, this is a horrible feeling and one I want to help you prevent!
So, let’s get 2020 off to a great start together as I walk you through some of our team’s top tricks for setting yourself up for success!
- Do you really need to be doing that?
Have a look over your to do list and prioritise the important tasks that honestly need to be completed as soon as possible. Whilst you don’t want to be constantly fighting fires over the course of the day, you do need to get important emails out or key project documents completed. As new tasks or projects come up, be honest and realistic on timeframes. It’s easy to tell people that you’ll have it over to them within 5 minutes (especially for what you consider is an easy task), but if you are in the middle of another task stay on track until its complete and then help them out when you are done.
- Use a way of tracking tasks that works for you and keeps you on top of things
Highly organised people are always telling others about their To-Do lists and how it keeps them sane. But there are so many ways of tracking your tasks, that it can end up side tracking you and making things harder than it needs to be – The key here is finding what works for you! It could be keeping your to do list on your phone in an app like Todoist, or on a whiteboard in the office so you can have the satisfaction of scrubbing it off at the end of the day. Whatever your chosen method, you need to stick to it and keep accountable!
- Make your priorities visual (individual, team and business)
In our team, 90-day plans are the key piece of the accountability puzzle that help us to stay on track with our business strategy. Within these plans we list our key priorities, projects, tasks or initiatives we need to achieve to drive greatness in the business. Rather than having this hidden away, and then finding that with 2 weeks to go of a quarter that we have not started, we print these out and put them on the wall. This way our priorities are not just plans hidden away in a desk drawer (or computer file) but are lived and breathed on a daily basis.
- Block out time in your calendar for tasks you need to get done
I’ll admit, this tip does need some self-discipline and assistance from those around you. But when executed correctly, it can do wonders for concentration and knocking out emails, reports, projects documents or strategic initiatives. When blocking out chunks of your calendar to get through tasks, make sure your team know you are unavailable. Place your phone on silent, do not book other meetings within this time, and encourage people to meet with you outside this time. Once in the time you have booked to meet with yourself, be diligent and use the time to work on your key items, and do not go looking for easier or more enjoyable tasks as it will only lead to further procrastination.
- Ban social media and pop-up notifications
This is a big one! We hear about it all the time, but as a general statement, most of us are addicted to checking our phones and social media accounts multiple times during the day. (On average, it’s close to 53 times!) If you have your phone set up so that apps can pop up notifications to you, jump into your settings and turn these off. You can even switch your iPhone into Do Not Disturb mode for times when serious concentration is needed. On your desktop, you can install extensions such as Block Site on your internet browser that blocks access to pages during certain hours so you can’t have a sneaky peek at your Facebook page, or get stuck in the endless vacuum that is YouTube.
Getting your head back into the new work year can be tough for many people, and I know you know that because you are reading this article! Bring yourself back into line using one or all of the tips I have mentioned above, and if all else fails make sure you reach out to your manager or team members at work. They might be able to share some more tips or insights to get you back onto the right path.