By Cecelia Bocker
Don’t wait until January to make changes that will help you in the future, start now! We came up with some time management tips and organizational skills to set you up for success in the new year.
1. Establish the difference between tasks that are "important" and tasks that are "urgent".
If you have items that are "urgent" but not "important", you can delegate these to others. If you don't have someone to delegate to, try to get them done first thing in the morning. With your "urgent" tasks out of the way, you will be able to focus on your "important" work duties.
2. Delegate as much as possible.
You do not need to do every, single thing yourself. Department members and coworkers want to be just as successful as you do, ask them for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
3. Take a minute to check off your tasks as you complete them.
This will help you have a sense of accomplishment and feel more relaxed as you realize you are completing tasks throughout the day, even if they’re minor things.
4. Take 15 minutes at the end of the day to set a “To-Do” list for the next day.
Not only will this allow you to see what is on your plate tomorrow, but it will also help you get a jumpstart on your day when you get to work in the morning.
5. Put your phone in your desk, not on it.
In today’s society, everyone is constantly on their phone texting, emailing, checking social media, etc. While this technology is convenient and useful, it’s also incredibly distracting and can cause you lose track of time when you should be focusing on work-related items. Cut the distraction by putting it away; out of sight, out of mind.
6. Keep a notebook and pen within reach.
You’ll be happy to have these things close by when a brilliant idea pops into your head or when your supervisor asks you to do something for them later in the day. This will also help you keep track of items to add to your “To-Do” lists.
7. Use desk organizers, hanging bins and shelves to keep your desk clutter free.
Having a clean, orderly work space will help you feel less stressed and makes it easier to keep track of all of your projects. It also looks more professional than having papers, folders and pens scattered everywhere.
8. Put papers in their place as you receive them, don’t just let them pile up.
There’s nothing worse than having to dig through papers to find the one you’re looking for right before a meeting. To avoid this scramble, label your folders and actually use them!
9. Don’t OVER-organize.
There’s a difference between “organized” and “complicated”. Organizing should make it quick and easy for you to find things, not the opposite. Try categorizing your documents and files based on their use and how often you need them. For example, you should not have to go through three different folders to locate a document that you use every morning.
10. Find a system that works for YOU, and stick with it.
While color coding and highlighting might help some people, it may distract others. Some people like to keep papers on their desks, while others like to put them in hanging files in their drawers. If you find a system that helps you feel organized and up to date with your work, stick with it.