Do you ever get the feeling that you have way too much on your plate and little time to do it all? I am no master in planning. But once you manage to untangle the cloud of thoughts in your head, it’s much easier to plan things. Here are some tips for getting things done at work!
1. Make lists!
For anything. The first thing I do when I get to work is make a list of all the things I want to do that day. This could vary from ‘call M’ to ‘organise inbox’ to ‘have lunch with N’. List even the tiniest of tasks and leave out nothing. Once you’ve created your list, you’ll get an easier overview of what really needs to be done (and when).
Everything that takes 5-10 minutes to do, do it now. Everything that takes 10-30 minutes to do, do it later that day. Everything that takes longer to do, save it for another day. This was one of the things I learnt from my former boss and I find that it’s a great rule of thumb when you have a busy schedule and you can’t decide what to do first. If you run a busy schedule like mine, chances are your schedule is already packed with ‘the big stuff’. So commit yourself – as much as you can – to doing the things that can be done instantly and save the rest for later.
3. Clean up!
Cluttered desks easily leads to a cluttered mind. Make sure that wherever you’re doing your work, everything is organised. Clean up regularly so you don’t have to give yourself the excuse of having to clean up when you really need to start working.
4. Plan ahead!
It helps when you have a planner that keeps your business appointments, tasks, projects together in one place. This way there’s only one thing you need (and keep it with you at all times). Get a planner that has both a monthly and annual calendar. I hardly use dailies anymore, I find that they work counterproductive.
5. Say no!
Most times we take up too much work because we try to please everybody. Learn to say no. It’s the most exhilarating feeling in the world when you manage to do it. Don’t close the door on your colleagues right away. The key is to say ‘no’ whilst proposing an option that works better for your schedule. This way you both win.
6. Ask for help!
Not right away, but once you realise you can’t get around your busy schedule anymore and you need an extra set of hands, don’t be afraid to ask. People are willing to help more than you think. Don’t see it as defeat, see it as managing your own schedule. You’ll be seen as the associate who has things under control.
You may be stressing out now, but chances are you’re stressing out for nothing. Does it help you? Does it help the person you’re trying to help? You’re only wasting your time panicking. Besides, there are far more important things in life you know 😉