Do you ever wish there were more hours in the day to get things done? If so, you probably need some more organisation in your life and don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Getting organised comes to some of us as second nature, while it may feel impossible for others. For those people that struggle, even the thought of ‘organisation’ can be daunting. Whether or not it is one of your strengths, it is a habit that everyone can learn to be better at, as long as their willing.
If you’re looking for some tips on how you can manage your time more effectively and accomplish more, follow these handy tips.
We’re all guilty of it – texting while walking, sending emails during meetings, talking on the phone while completing a task. While doing this may seem like a good idea at the time, research shows that multitasking isn’t as helpful as we might have hoped. In a study by the American Psychological Association, it was found that shifting between tasks can cost you up to 40 per cent of productive time!
Multitasking occurs when someone tries to perform two tasks simultaneously, switch from one task to another, or perform two or more tasks at once. Doing this reduces efficiency and hurts performance as most of our brains can only focus on one thing at a time.
Once you learn how to avoid multitasking, the quicker you will be able to accomplish more and, therefore, become more organised. You might be surprised at just how much your productivity levels increase!
Have a planner
Running constantly from one task to the next without a clear structure of what needs to get done can mean that time gets away from you. A planner will allow you to schedule time for each task, meeting and deadline. Therefore, you know what to expect each day and don’t run out of time.
Advancements in technology mean that there are now many tools available to business users which make task management easier than ever. Microsoft Planner, a tool within the Microsoft 365 suite is a great example of a tool designed for this. We used it here at Serval IT Systems and across the rest of the entrust IT Group offices. It works by creating a singular hub for users to create plans, organise and assign tasks to other team members and check updates on previous via various dashboards. Digital tools like this are helpful as they allow you to organise with ease using labels, tags and checkboxes. You can find out more about Microsoft Planner here.
Organised people don’t waste time. They have a plan and stick to it. Take 30 mins or so to go over and complete your work plan for the coming week, whether that be online using a tool or offline by writing it down. It will help you keep organised and remember when things are due, as well as mean things won’t pop up that you aren’t expecting.
It takes energy to stay organised. Taking short breaks throughout the day will enable you to recharge and refocus on the task in hand. When the Harvard Business Review examined the benefits of breaks, they found breaks throughout the day allow us to take a step back and make sure we are accomplishing the right things in the right way.
“When you work on a task continuously, it’s easy to lose focus and get lost in the weeds. In contrast, following a brief intermission, picking up where you left off forces you to take a few seconds to think globally about what you’re ultimately trying to achieve. It’s a practice that encourages us to stay mindful of our objectives…”
The ‘Pomodoro Technique’ is a break-taking method used by many in business. When using this method, you break down your workday into 25-minute chunks separated by 5-minute breaks (pomodoros). After around four of these intervals, you are to take a longer break of 15-20 minutes. The aim of this is to increase your productivity by diving your workday into highly focused chunks separated by short breaks. Thus, making you more organised to get things done!
Write down tasks for the day
Although it is important to have a larger, long term plan of what needs to be done in the coming weeks, writing down your tasks for each day is also paramount if you want to keep organised. Doing this helps you to visually see what needs to be done. Considering taking 10 minutes at the end of your day to write a list of your tasks for the next. You should find it helps you break down the long-term tasks and will help to give you a jumpstart to your day in the morning.
Not only will writing down your tasks for the day keep you more organised but Dr. Cynthia Green, a nationally recognised clinical psychologist and brain health/memory fitness expert, has said how it can boost your brainpower too! Find out what she said here.
Declutter your work area
There is an old saying that a clear space means a clear mind. If your workspace is cluttered, it can be distracting and impact your productivity. Decluttering will keep your things as well as mind completely organised.
A survey by retailer OfficeMax proved just how much clutter can impact adults when 90% of respondents expressed how they believe that clutter has a negative impact on their lives and work. Moreover, more than half of respondents said disorganisation impacts their state of mind and motivation levels.
Your things will not stay organised on their own. Use your planner to find time to organise and then make sure you do it. Taking the time to tackle the clutter at your desk will allow you to reap the benefits of a clear space and therefore, a clearer mind.
Procrastination is something that workers in all industries can face. Unfortunately, the longer you wait to do something, the harder it is going to be to get done. By putting in the effort early on, you will lift the weight off of your shoulders from doing it later.
SMART goals are a great way to help avoid procrastination. This is because the habit often comes from goals that are either vague or completely unachievable. ‘SMART’ is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Using this method will give you deadlines, clarity and enable you to prioritise tasks and achieve goals.
Staying organised can be a daily struggle for a lot of us. The key to it is to be consistent and incorporate these tips on a daily basis to see some real changes. Everything takes time to master – start small and don’t let yourself become overwhelmed and quit.
Luckily, there are many technology solutions available now that can help staff become more organised wherever they may be in the world. For example, as discussed in the above blog, Microsoft Planner, a tool within Microsoft 365 has many useful features that allow you to plan and make the most of your time. Not only does it allow you to build a plan and the team to complete it, but you can assign tasks and monitor the whole process, all under one pan of glass. What’s more – Planner now has a mobile app, so you can stay organised whether you are at home, at work, in between appointments or out running errands!
If you’re looking to get more organised and want to see for yourself how the Microsoft 365 suite can help with this, why not learn a little bit more about the range of tools that sit within it by getting in touch.