Jumat, 09 Juli 2010

How to organize your work day (part II)

Develop your system

A filing system is essential to staying organized on the job. Some people prefer to keep everything on their computer so they have a digital record, and some people prefer the tried and true method of paper files. While I advocate the Green practices of keeping everything digital, I find a combination of both works best for me. That way, if I lose something and a client calls, I can lay my hands on the pieces of information I will most likely need if my computer is off or, perish the thought, crashes all together. Develop a good filing system and use it faithfully to organize your work day.

Filing cabinets are a great way to keep everything sorted and organized without having it sitting out in the open looking like a mess. It is easy to access and keeps everything neatly tucked away until you are ready to use it. Keep things even better organized with classroom storage tall baskets with handles from a teacher supply store. Small items such as pens or boxes of extra paperclips can be stored and easily accessed in them. Having extras of things you use regularly is an excellent way to organize your work day.

If you do not have to leave your office to get supplies, you make more time to work on that To Do List.

Set a time limit

Many of us who work from home especially are in love with our timers. There are a number of timers available for free online. In fact, I am using Online Stopwatch right now. You can also use a simple kitchen timer. Simply figure out how much time you need to complete a project or a portion of your project, set the timer and do not stop until you hear it ring or buzz. It is a simple idea, but brilliant.

By making yourself work until the timer goes off, you can complete a good chunk of your project. Just make sure you do not get distracted by the phone or an unnecessary visitor. You can set your timer in small increments of fifteen or twenty minutes at a time. It doesn’t matter how long, just stick to the time.

Be realistic

And finally, be realistic. You cannot finish everything all in one day. There will always be something to put off until tomorrow and that is fine. If you follow these steps on how to organize your work day, you will find there are lines through many of your tasks on the list. When you get to work the next day, re-write your list and remove those items that are complete. Feel free to add new tasks, but know that they will eventually be moved off your list for good.

It is an art to figure out how to organize your workday. If you follow a plan, you will feel as if you have accomplished more than your thought possible.

Speaking as someone who has lived with lists for years, it’s a beautiful thing!

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