Some people find chaos exhilarating and for some reason functional. Paperwork lying willy-nilly across their desks; emails piling up in their inbox. Phone messages taped to monitors and phones etc. Personally, I cannot function like that. Over the years, I’ve found that the secret to a productive day is organization.
Here are a few of my tips to getting and staying organized:
- Check it often
- Immediately delete anything that is junk
- Answer urgent messages promptly
- Create folders for saved emails that you may need to refer to later
- Keep messages in a centralized location, but not in a folder or other obstructed place
- You want to see that they are there and waiting for you!
- Arrange messages in order of importance
- Always tackle high priority calls first
- Return calls in a timely manner
- “A place for everything and everything in its place”
- If your done with it-put it back where it belongs
- Keep routinely used items close
- Correction tape
- Keep stock items or rarely used items away from your immediate workspace, but close enough you can get to them easily
- Have an Inbox
- Utilize color coding for quickly locating important files
- ABC or 123 for routine filing
- Labels, labels and labels
- If you don’t know what it is, you probably won’t use it.
- Make lists
- Keep project research and materials together
- Make a schedule with due dates, deadlines and task completion check list
- Always assign a deadline – even if you don’t have one.
Make your deadline a week before the project is do whenever possible to allow for unforeseen changes, events etc.
The most important rule is: (as my middle school math teacher used to say) K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid). Simply put-don’t go overboard and keep it simple! There is, believe it or not, such a thing as being too organized!
These are just a few, but it only takes a few to get started. Nobody knows best what you do as you do!