Since I started a new job last week, I thought I would post about ensuring your working day is as productive as possible. When your to-do list appears endless and deadlines are looming, work can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. Keeping organised and calm can ensure you make the most of day.
Keep it tidy!
A messy desk can not only feel distracting, but it can also make you feel a little stressed subconsciously. Try to keep your desk as clear as possible, and only have the documents you need in front of you. To minimise sheets of paper everywhere, I like to have one little note of useful information so I know that everything is in one place. This includes my direct phone number (an essential!) any phone numbers of people you call regularly (or in a panic, like the IT department!) and anything else you may require on a regular basis. If you have notice board, pin it up to keep your desk clear, and make the most of a magazine holder for anything else!
Make a plan
Make a list of everything that needs to be done over the working week, and then divide these between each day. You’ll soon start to form a plan of action and an order in which to complete your tasks. At work, I have found that my Outlook calendar works really well for me, as it allows you to block out amounts of time for particular tasks, but you can of course move these around. I also love the reminders that pop up throughout the day to make sure I’m on track.
Do the important but boring tasks first
There are usually a couple of mundane tasks that aren’t much fun, but really need to be completed. I like to schedule the day’s tasks in the same way I eat a bag of sweets – by eating the boring ones first and saving the best until last!
Set a time limit for each task
Decide at the beginning of the day how long each task should take you. Be realistic about how quickly you work. If you’re always taking longer than expected on a particular task, it may be time to re-evaluate things. Could you be working more quickly or are you simply not giving yourself enough time?
Take regular breaks
If you’ve been staring at your screen for hours upon end, or repeating the same task relentlessly, it can be hard to concentrate. It’s also likely that you on’t be working as effectively as you could be. Breaks don’t have to be long – simply getting up to put the kettle on can make a difference!
What are your tips for making the most of your working day?