Do you ever get to the end of the day and realise you haven’t done as much as you set out to do? We’ve all been there! As working women (and men!) we’re often under pressure to over deliver – part of this pressure comes from ourselves, with the environment in which we work in whether it’s in an office, shop floor or warehouse also being responsible.
There are two ways to increase our productivity and deliver more; by either working harder or working smarter. I know I’d rather choose the latter.
So, what’s the key to working smarter I hear you ask?
Here are some key organisational tips for working girls wanting to get more done in less time.
Start your day with intention
For all the list lovers out there, this one is for you! Creating a list where you can document what you need to do and then track your progress against the reality is a tried and tested way of making sure things get done.
Waking up and dedicating the first 10-15 minutes of your day to write your to do list is a great way of aligning your intentions for the day and setting yourself up with the best chances of success.
As part of my list making process I’ve recently started reflecting on the previous day – noting all the things that went well and everything I could improve on going forward. Identifying what you’ve done well will allow you to build these into your future actions.
Bill your hours
Managing your time is critical to improving productivity. Managing your time in regards to how much value is created by the tasks you do is not just a method used by lawyers and consultants but one that can be applied to your everyday life.
It starts with accessing which of your hours/tasks contribute the most to your goals and objectives. Focusing on the most important tasks by filtering out the trivial activities is a great step to ensure your day is productive.
Utilise your commute time
Most workers travel up to an hour in order to get to work. Your time commuting to and from work can provide you with a great window to complete mundane tasks or the personal passion projects on your to do list.
Instead of staring into space on the tube, by using your commute time productively when you set foot in your workplace you would’ve already given yourself a massive head start.
Keep your desk clear
On my adventures around my office, I sometimes see desks that resemble the shop floor of Zara during the Boxing Day sales – messy and chaotic. Being organsied in life boils right down to having an organised desk.
An untidy desk can be a source of unnecessary stress and result in important tasks getting lost in all the clutter.
Even if the task of tidying up your desk seems daunting, start small by de-cluttering your desk an hour before you’re due to leave the office. This will put you in good stead for the fresh day ahead. Clean desk, clean mind.
Introducing the one-touch rule
Sometimes our emails can get the best of us, receiving multiple requests from different individuals may overwhelm us – but what if I told you there was one rule that could help us organise ourselves in these busy times.
Introducing the One-touch rule. By immediately dealing with every piece of paper or email that you come across or devising a follow-up plan, the chances of forgetting about a task are significantly reduced.
Know when to stop
Don’t overdo it or get disheartened because you think you’re not robotically making your way down your to do list. Knowing when to slow down or stop is just as good an organisational tip as the ‘One touch rule’.
Whilst scheduling back to back meetings may sound productive on paper, in reality it isn’t. Your energy and focus levels are significant determinants of your organisational capacity. Take breaks and don’t beat yourself up.
If you feel like you’re not highly organized and productive today, tomorrow is a new day and the most effective organisation strategies come with trial and error.
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