In a fast paced working environment, it is critical to have excellent organisational skills. You need to keep on top of your workload at all times in order to successfully complete tasks to their deadlines.
An old fashioned check list never hurt anyone. In fact, they are extremely beneficial. By breaking down your workload into short bullet points, you will be able to complete this with ease. Not to mention the satisfaction you feel when you tick off the next box. Forget the Post-it notes, which can easily go missing. Get an A4 notepad, and break down your tasks. Write a deadline next to each point, so you remember to meet that target. You may wish to keep a monthly, weekly or daily check list. Whatever you choose, this will help you meet the deadlines without error. Do not avoid the difficult tasks which may take a little more time than others. Such tasks should be at the top of your check list. Get difficult and large tasks out of the way in the morning, by leaving them to the end of the day makes them a huge burden. You could therefore jeopardise the quality of your work. Try not to multitask, start a task, and finish it. By half finishing a piece of work, you may find that it is far more difficult to return to it and finish it to the high standard of which it began. Use your calendar or diary to manage any future deadlines. Put tasks in your diary, with a reminder which will pop up well in advance. This way you will never miss a deadline and always be one step ahead.
Keep Calm and Carry On
When you see your workload building, it is so important to keep a calm mind set. Take a deep breath and remember that completing work whilst stressed will make life far more difficult. Think about why you are at work and why you got to where you are in the first place. Believe in yourself, have faith, take a few moments and do your very best. If you take a few moments to collect your thoughts and prioritise your to do list, you will be able to complete it far more effectively. Remember, you are not alone, if you can delegate some of your tasks to other members of the team, do so. This can lift a weight from your shoulders and get tasks completed far quicker. Think about how you can use your time most effectively. Sometimes, by sending an e-mail, you will be wasting critical time. By simply picking up the telephone to the person you are needing to contact, you could get your desired answers far quicker than a long winded e-mail conversation.
Do not shy away from working out of hours. You may find that you can complete tasks far quicker, when you are not receiving constant e-mails, when the phones are not ringing and your colleagues are not around as a distraction. Whether you come in to the office before opening hours, you stay late, or even work remotely form home. You may find that this can help you immensely having no distractions. This may not be required each day, and it is very important to keep a work/life balance. Yet, if you want to get ahead, working extra hours can have a dramatic effect. Of course, it is great to get along with your colleagues and build relationships. However, essentially you could be wasting time as you gossip about the weekend’s antics. If your workload is on a large scale, politely inform your nattering colleague that you simply are busy, and you would be delighted to have a chat during your lunch break!
Keep it clean
Tidy your desk at the end of each working day. A clean mind requires a clean desk. Ensure that all paperwork is tidied away and appropriately filed. The last thing you want to come in to on a Monday morning is a sea of paperwork and coffee stained mugs! Prepare yourself in advance to any meetings you may be having, or for any deadlines you need to meet. To avoid stress on the day, try to organise yourself with a couple of days or even hours in advance. If you need to print packs for a meeting, or if you need to create a PowerPoint presentation – do this prior to the event, never leave it to the last minute. Never leave your unread e-mails to pile up. It can be truly very stressful to see a large number of unread e-mails sat in your inbox waiting to be actioned. It is also of great importance to keep your e-mails organised in folders. This will help you when you need to find something urgently, with as little disruption to your work load. If you are a Personal Assistant, ensure you file all of your bosses’ e-mails in one folder. Keep all correspondence in an archived folder, as you may need to refer back to this at a later date.
Remember, you do have a life outside of work too. You will not be able to work to the best of your ability if you burn the candle at both ends and work twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. You will need to take some time to simply relax. You may do this by having a glass of wine after a long day, or you may just want to get in to bed and have an early night. No matter what way you prefer to wind down after a long day, or week, make time to do so. By resting you will be able to optimise the time you do work, as well as enjoying yourself. Stay positive and keep an open mind where it comes to both your personal and working life. By doing this you will find that you are able to manage tasks for more effectively and to a far higher standard.
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