Whether you’re already a working personal assistant, or aspiring to be one, your career can benefit from a number of qualifications and certificates. Several organisations offer specific PA courses catered…
Being organised at work will have an immediate positive impact on your productivity. It can help you produce a better quality of work, make fewer mistakes, and work more efficiently. Prioritising and getting organised also helps to reduce stress and overwhelm.
While not all of us are naturally gifted with supreme organisational skills, it is possible to improve them by following a few simple tips.
Here are our six top tips to help you stay organised at work and get more done.
Create a master ‘to do’ list
The first step in getting organised is to create a master list that documents all the tasks you need to complete. It can be a daily, weekly, or monthly list.
Depending on your role, a weekly list may work best. Weekly lists will supercharge your organisation and productivity and give you the flexibility to make amendments as and when is necessary for your role.
Write down everything that needs to be done in a specific week and assign certain tasks to each day.
Prioritise your tasks
Strategic prioritisation is essential for getting everything done. You need to arrange tasks according to their deadline, the amount of time required to complete them, and the focus they will require.
It may be more effective to work on tasks that require high levels of focus when you’re at your most productive and leave tasks that require less energy for another time of the day.
Multitasking is one of the biggest obstacles to productivity. It’s essential to focus on one task at a time to produce a high standard of work and get as much done as possible.
Unless something urgent needs your attention, block out time in your calendar to carry out focused work. Set aside time elsewhere in the day to check your emails and make phone calls.
Organise your workspace
As the saying goes – tidy desk, tidy mind. It can be your physical workspace, such as your desk, and your digital one, such as your laptop, inbox, etc.
One of the biggest time-wasters in the workplace is trawling through hundreds of emails, folders, or documents when looking for something, simply because files aren’t organised efficiently on your laptop.
Standard Operating Procedures consist of the step-by-step processes that you need to follow to complete specific tasks.
This step is crucial to reducing the likelihood of making mistakes, and it helps to be precise and efficient when managing your workload.
Keeping a folder with all the different SOPs required for your role means you’ll have all the information you need to perform your role at hand, readily and easily accessible.
Master time management by implementing one of these popular techniques
Time-management techniques can help you to manipulate time and get more done.
You may want to try:
– The Pomodoro technique: you select a task you need to focus on, set a timer for 25 minutes and work solely on that task. After 25 minutes, you take a short break (typically 5 minutes), then start again for another 25 minutes.
– The ‘Eat that frog’ technique: Championed by motivational speaker and productivity expert Brian Tracy, the goal of this method is to analyse the items on your list and organise them according to their difficulty. The idea is that you tackle the most challenging tasks first.
– The Kanban technique: this is an effective workflow management method for visual learners. On a board, your notebook, or your laptop, create three sections: to-do, in progress, done. Then write your tasks and move them across the sections based on their progress and completion.
If you’re serious about supercharging your organisational skills, you could also benefit from a time management app such as Todoist or Toggl Track.
Just say no!
Remember, you are only human. There is only so much that you can take on without breaking! If you are bogged down with work and are approached to do something else, just say no! It may also be worth thinking about delegating tasks to other members of staff. They may be able to help you and enable you to complete your workload efficiently.
Increasing your organisational skills will not only help you to stay on top of your workload, it will also maximise your chances of excelling in your role. If you implement these tips gradually into your workday you’ll start to see a noticeable difference in the quality of your work and in the results you produce.
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