Are you the queen of lists? Is one of the items on your list to correlate and organize all your lists? Too many things to do, and not enough time to do them? Then lets talk about ways to become more efficient during the hours we are in the office.
Buying a cool new organization system or the latest office software isnt going to help you if you arent proactive and work on procedures that can ease what is happening during the day. The outcome? Less lists, more energy and control in your day, and no work going home with you.
First, cherish your prime time. This is the time of day that you are most productive, and its different for all of us. Use the energy boost and clarity to your benefit. Lock your office and dont pick up the phone. Do not let that whiney, negative, energy-draining coworker or even your loving, nurturing boyfriend call during this time. Use your prime time to stay focused, driven and purposeful. That meeting after lunch with your supervisor will drain you anyway, so dont waste the time of day that works best for you.
Do NOT shortchange yourself on planning time. It sounds like common sense, and youd think we all do this, but we dont. Your calendar is sacred! No matter what the project, scope or scale, be realistic in your schedule and time needed. And if you find you are going to need extra time on a project, remember: do NOT give away your prime time to have a meeting or take a call.
Encourage coworkers and key contacts to keep a log of questions for you. Model how to keep them all together, and suggest that they ask you all of them at once. This saves a ton of reply e-mails and from having a person always at your office door.
Personalize your e-mail signature. Use it to promote a product or project or reinforce your business focus. And take advantage of the out-of-office reply options.
And while we are talking e-mail, lets just throw this out there, shall we? Check your work e-mail only a set number of times per day, and only AT WORK! Make sure that whatever time you have scheduled to work on e-mail, you have planned time to reply should you need to. Try to reply promptly. Set a goal for your turn around time. Even if you only write, Received your e-mail. I will get back to you soon. The people who live for your e-mails will start to realize that they are only getting them at certain times of day. And girl, STICK TO IT! If people are noticing that replies are coming at around the same time every day, you will avoid getting many e-mails from that certain co-worker who thinks you do nothing but sit at your computer and answer their cyber communications.
Lets talk about money quickly. As a bill comes in, write on the envelope the date it is due and the amount of the bill. And keep your bills in the same place all the time, with the bill due soonest on top of the stack. Another way to help make sure you are efficient in this area is to write when bills are due on your hanging calendar or wipe off board. If you see it ahead of time, you are most likely to not forget about it and pay it late.
If you dont use it, dont keep it at your desk. Nuff said.
And finally, try and have the shoes match the purse. This wont necessarily keep you more organized, but youll look great and feel better about yourself!
Go get em girls!!