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If you’re in a PA job and working in a fast-paced working environment, you’ll know that it’s critical to have excellent organisational skills. Time management is just one of the elements that will keep you on top of your workload! Below, we’ve listed five more tips to help you manage your to-do list.
An old-fashioned check list never hurt anyone. In fact, they are extremely beneficial. By breaking down your workload into short bullet points, you will be able to complete this with ease. Not to mention the satisfaction you feel when you tick off the next box. Forget the post-it notes, which can easily go missing; get an A4 notepad, and break down your tasks. Write a deadline next to each point, so you remember to meet that target. You may wish to keep a monthly, weekly or daily check list. Whatever you choose, this will help you meet the deadlines without error. Do not avoid the difficult tasks which may take a little more time than others. Such tasks should be at the top of your check list.
Try not to multitask; start a task, and finish it. By half finishing a piece of work, you may find that it is far more difficult to return to it and finish it to the high standard of which it began. Use your calendar or diary to manage any future deadlines. Put tasks in your diary, with a reminder which will pop up well in advance. This way you will never miss a deadline and always be one step ahead.
Keep Calm and Carry On
When you see your workload building, it is so important to keep a calm mind set. Take a deep breath and remember that completing work whilst stressed will make life far more difficult. Think about why you are at work and why you got to where you are in the first place. Believe in yourself, have faith, take a few moments and do your very best. If you take a few moments to collect your thoughts and prioritise your to-do list, you will be able to complete it far more effectively. Remember, you are not alone, if you can delegate some of your tasks to other members of the team, do so. This can lift a weight from your shoulders and get tasks completed far quicker. Think about how you can use your time most effectively. Sometimes, by sending an e-mail, you will be wasting critical time. By simply picking up the telephone to the person you are needing to contact, you could get your desired answers far quicker than a long-winded e-mail conversation.
Do not shy away from working out of hours. You may find that you can complete tasks far quicker when you are not receiving constant e-mails, when the phones are not ringing and your colleagues are not around as a distraction. Whether you come in to the office before opening hours, you stay late, or even work remotely form home, you may find that this can help you immensely. That said, it’s important to maintain a work/life balance, so make sure this doesn’t become a daily ritual.
Keep it clean
Tidy your desk at the end of each working day. A clean mind requires a clean desk. Ensure that all paperwork is tidied away and appropriately filed. The last thing you want to come into on a Monday morning is a sea of paperwork and coffee-stained mugs! Prepare yourself in advance to any meetings you may be having or for any deadlines you need to meet. To avoid stress on the day, try to organise yourself with a couple of days or even hours in advance. If you need to print packs for a meeting, or if you need to create a PowerPoint presentation – do this prior to the event, never leave it to the last minute.
If you can, try and keep abreast of your inbox as well. It can be very stressful to see a large number of unread e-mails sat in your inbox, waiting to be actioned.
Remember, you do have a life outside of work too. You will not be able to work to the best of your ability if you burn the candle at both ends and work twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. You will need to take some time to simply relax. Stay positive and keep an open mind where it comes to both your personal and working life. By doing this you will find that you are able to manage tasks for more effectively and to a far higher standard.