Do you want to be more organised at work? Do you want to get more done in less time?
My name is Matthew Larcome and I’m the organiser of some of the UK’s most successful regional business shows. Over the past 5 years, I’ve learnt and developed my organisational skills and in this article today, I’m going to reveal five ways on how you can get more organised at work and become more productive.
Idea #1 – Focus on doing one thing at a time Most successful people in business achieve so much in so little time because they put 100% of their concentration on one activity at a time. Tasks will always take longer and you’ll make more mistakes if you try to do too much at once. To start getting more done and to get more organised, focus on doing one task at a time – without distraction – as you’ll find you’ll be able to achieve more. Remember, it’s not always about how many tasks you start, it’s about how many you complete.
Idea #2 – Use a timeline to work towards bigger projects When we’re planning our business shows we use a lot of checklists to make sure we get everything organised – as you can imagine. One way you can get organised yourself, and to ensure you start delivering towards a bigger project, is to use a timeline. Writing down a specific start date and a completion date will not only increase your focus, but it will also increase the likelihood of you actually completing the project. Remember what Yogi Berra once said, “You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there!”
Idea #3 – Organise your work with a Master List Like a timeline, for those of us that have a million things that need doing, start using a Master List. A Master List is one list for everything that needs doing. It’s a great place to store all your ideas and to-do-tasks, plus it frees up space in your mind so that you can start to feel more organised in your mind. You can create your Master List on a computer or even on a series of white boards. It doesn’t really matter how you record your Master List, but it’s crucial for you to use one if you are to get more organised.
Idea #4 – Keep your desk tidy Having a cluttered workspace not only makes you feel disorganised, but it also makes it harder for you to get work done. You might think that you know where everything is, but when you have a messy desk you can spend up to 30 minutes a day just looking for bits of paperwork when you need it. To help keep your desk tidy begin by taking everything off. Pretend that you’re moving in again. Get rid of anything you really don’t need. Less is always more in this instance! Then organise your stationery. Do you really need all of it scattered over your workspace? When it comes to paperwork, file it. If you don’t need it, put it in the recycling bin! We do like to keep things – just in case – but there does come a time when we all need a good clear out – physically and mentally!
Idea #5 – Reduce the amount of times you get interrupted Interruptions can cause havoc in a busy businessperson’s day. We are all constantly being interrupted by colleagues, bosses, social media, emails and telephone calls. All of these things can take up precious time and kick us off track! To help with this, I recommend the following three things. Firstly, put a sign on your office door or on your office desk. Make it clear when you really don’t want to be disturbed. People will not mind as they’ll appreciate that your work is important to you. Then I’d recommend switching off the emails. When it’s time for you to get work done, turn off your email notifications so that you’re not being interrupted. Your customers aren’t always expecting you to reply instantly. Thirdly, consider getting your telephone answered by a call handling company. There are lots of businesses that provide this service and it really helps to keep you focused.
So there you have it – my five-steps to getting more organised. Running a business is tough and our work is never done. But if you want to achieve more and feel more productive, I promise if you follow these ideas, you’ll not only begin to feel more organised, but you’ll also feel more in control.