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Achieving goals in an efficient way is possible when you are well-organized. Here are some ideas that will help you become more organized.
Use a personal pocket calendar, PDA, or program such as Outlook that you have with you at all times to help keep yourself organized.
Use check lists and check sheets regularly for those things which must be done in a correct way.
When you find yourself doing unimportant same things repetively, either create a system to handle the action automatically or delegate the task to another
If you find yourself saying or doing the same things repetitively set up a FAQ or template
Create a time line for all projects.
Make a daily “to-do” list of activities that you must do and set priorities on it every day. Then do the activities in priority order.
Avoid over organizing to the point where your perfectionism interferes with your achieving results. Have a bias towards action and don’t let yourself suffer from analysis paralysis.
Identify and post reorder quantities on office supplies to prevent running out completely.
Make notes of things as you think of them either on paper, in your PDA, or with your computer. Organize the notes for easy reference.
When doing work on a computer, have a routine of backing up your work
Work on only one item at a time.
If you are working on several projects, keep each one in a clearly labeled file by itself (or if on computer, a separate folder) so you do not have to look through a mixed project file to find things.
Do not schedule every minute of the day; keep flexible for the unexpected items that will come up.
When you sense things are out of control, STOP. Sit quietly, relax, re-establish priorities in writing, decide what action to take, then go again.
Sit down and do all trivia in one sitting to get it over with.
Build flexibility into your schedule by purposely overestimating the amount of time needed on each activity.
Schedule a meeting with yourself every day. Then during this meeting work uninterrupted on your top priority project.
Carry a project with you so when kept waiting in a doctor’s office, airport or on a bus, you can be productive.
Before leaving the office at night, put the most important project for tomorrow on your desk and organize your priorities and tasks for the upcoming day. On Sunday nights, organize your upcoming work week.
Establish an efficient working routine that matches you and your job. Do a certain activity at the same time each day or on the same day every week.
Organize items you reference frequently in a ring binder in protective plastic.
Keep a log of requests made. Be sure to note the day and hour they are to be completed.
Each day make a Call-See-Do list. Who you should call. Who you should see, and what you should do.
Consolidate support staff where possible. For example, typing staff could be reorganized into a pool to equalize their work loads.
Create specific useful forms such as time sheets and other record keeping sheets that are helpful to a specific job. Try to keep everything done by computer, if possible.
Keep only one calendar and keep it with you at all times. If you keep two digital calendars (i.e. PDA and Outlook on laptop, be sure you synchronize them often).
Combine all personal and work related items into your one personal calendar.
Gather all needed materials and supplies for a project. Then when you sit and do the project, you won’t have to run for this item or that item.
Capture a few minutes from every activity you do. They accumulate to be extra time for your high priority projects.
Trade days. Work on Saturday when it is quiet and take another day or two half days off.
Implement flex time to help employee motivation.
Once you are sure you are doing the most important thing, then ask yourself: “How can I do this more efficiently?”
Use short, simple, written directions for routine procedures.
Move your in-basket off the desk so it will not be a temptation or distraction.
As things you must do come to mind, write them down in your pocket planner or calendar immediately so they do not get lost.
Look for ways of automating office procedures.
Work four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days. It gives you an extra day at home and better concentration at work.
Use a steno pad to list thoughts, duties, interruptions or questions. Use a highlighter to cross them off as you deal with them.
Keep a notebook with pages headed “Thanks giving,” “Christmas,” “Office party,” or the name of other special projects. Then when you think of something that must be done or bought, etc., you can jot it down on the appropriate page.
Make up daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly lists of routine duties with blank spaces to fill in others as needed.
Group like tasks together to prevent job jumping and wasting time.
Provide adequate private work space as well as central areas and conference space to maximize effectiveness.
Buy ahead so you have supplies on hand.
Ask people who are not closely involved with a problem or process how they think it could be done. You will get fresh ideas.
Use the proper tools for the job even if you have to go out and purchase them.
Develop personal systems that work for you, then follow them. Be sure to update them periodically.
At night put classified material in a secure place. Do not leave it out where it might walk off.
Clean your desk the last five minutes of the day and prepare it for getting started first thing in the morning.
Keep papers you are not working on in the filing cabinet, not on your desk.
Keep supplies and materials in a storage cabinet, not on your desk.
Establish an organized filing system that anyone can use and see that things get into it immediately.
Save simplistic, repetitious, routine, manual jobs, (folding papers, stuffing envelopes) for times when you choose to simply relax and chat with others, or listen to cassette tapes.
Stick “Post-It-Notes” on projects to show status or progress of a project.
Role model as an organized person. You will soon convince yourself.
Devise a problem resolution log which keeps track of progress on solving problems within a department.
Schedule a block of time to be dedicated to major projects.
When you think other people might forget something important, use multiple reminders to jog their memory. Use such things as notes, lists, tickler reports, status reports, briefings, phone calls, special bulletins, and so forth.
Look for two or more complementary activities that can be dovetailed and done at one time.
When you receive a person’s business card, write notes about your encounter on the back of the card.