Monday, April 22, 2019
Being Organized is a skill that most people can agree is key in the workplace. It is a skill that encompasses everything from the arraignment of your daily schedule to the items on your desk. The way that you choose to organize yourself can affect your focus, proficiency, and execution of work, as well as attitude and frame of mind.
Organizational skills can look different for different people, but detailed below are some helpful tools, suggestions, mindful practices that will assist in finding what would best help you.
Setting Goals and Objectives
SMART Goals are an excellent way to think strategically about goal settings. SMART stands for:
State exactly what you want to do. Use verbs, rather than statements. For example, writing “monthly meeting agenda” is different than writing “plan the monthly meeting agenda” or “email the monthly meeting agenda”.
Give yourself some form of metrics to evaluate your task. (e.g. finish 50% of an article, complete 2/3 emails)
Be realistic in setting your goals. Do not plan for more than you are able to complete.
Ask yourself questions like: Is this goal in your work scope or your related job functions? Does this directly relate to what you need to accomplish?
Give yourself a completion date or time that you can stick to.
Defining your goals in this way is an excellent step to achieving task organization. And keep in mind that it is easy to become overwhelmed with the volume of work that needs to be completed. When that happens, keep this in mind: The Pareto Principle suggests that only 20% of your tasks produce 80% of your results. The majority of your attention should be focused on a small amount of your work.
Creating a Daily Plan and Focus
Create a plan than schedules your most important work first. Give these priority tasks the time and attention needed before scheduling others. Keep your focus the tasks at hand. Blocking time is an excellent way to keep focused. Pick a set amount of time to stay focused on one task or batch of work. Work for 25 minutes on one assignment or set of assignments and then take a simple break – no more than 5 minutes. That break can be changing gears to check emails or checking in with a co-worker. The idea of chunking your time helps keep your work at the center. Bringing like tasks together in the same space of time is also helpful. You will be in the same frame of mind when working on these tasks. In the same respect, responding to emails and phone calls can also be done in batches.
Multi-tasking is a killer when it comes to completing tasks. Your attention is being pulled in many directions and when you switch tasks, it can take your brain a full 64 seconds to refocus on the task at hand. If you are switching between 2 tasks every 10 minutes, you’ve lost at least 10% of your time trying to re-center your thoughts.
Track Your Success
Every time you accomplish something, think about what went right. What helped move you forward and make this successful. Did your success help achieve the most essential deliverables of the day? If you can answer “yes” that makes it easier to let go of any non-essential tasks that were not completed for the day.
Create your goals, make your plan, stay focused, and track your success. Creating habits is different for all people. But the only way to make something feel like second nature is to begin.
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