Working in an office with such a fast-paced environment with events and meetings that often interrupt your work flow, it really is important to use every moment you have at your desk to the fullest. While I am very aware that I am overly organized (this is pointed out to me on a daily basis by my loving yet concerned colleagues,) I do believe that I have 8 tips that can change your work life for the better.
1. Clear your workspace
Getting rid of unnecessary clutter will also help you clear your mind and focus on the task at hand. If I am focusing on writing an article and have a plan on my desk begging me to get started on it, my mind is focusing on two things at once. File away important papers and recycle anything that has already been actioned or is no longer necessary.
2. Stay ‘digitally’ organised
If you know where everything on your computer is at all times, and all folders follow a structure, muscle memory will kick in and you’ll know where to go due to force of habit.
3. Quick access shortcuts
If you have a company server, make quick access shortcuts to your most used files on your desktop. This will save you the time of searching out files whenever you need them. Also, if you recurrently use web tools (wetransfer, I’m talking about you), add these to your browser bookmark bar. Although it’s only 5 seconds here or there, this saves minutes by the end of the week, which equals a coffee break!
4. Inbox folders
Knowing where every email is at any point in time means less search time! Also, if you file things away once you action them, you know that whatever is left in your inbox needs some love. Some use colour coding, other use filing – find a system that works for you and make the most of it.
5. The ‘five-minute’ rule
I have a personal rule that I stick to religiously – if a task can be done in less than five minutes, I do it right then and there. These small tasks pile up, and you can check multiple boxes off your to do list all in one go. This not only lightens your workload, but also gives you a sense of accomplishment, putting you in the zone and on a roll!
Go into meetings with an agenda, and if this agenda has less than 5 points, turn it into a call or an email. Time efficiency is not always easy when you’re client facing, but making sure you’re using your time in the wisest way possible will reduce stress in the long run!
Some people even say that having standing meetings force you to keep things quick and wrap up in as little time as possible. I think wearing 3 inch heels in a standing meeting would probably make me want to wrap up ASAP Rocky…
Taking the time to plan and make lists keeps you on track. I am a list-oholic and swear by it – without them how on earth would I keep track of my tasks?! I even have ones for my team members (I told you I was a list-oholic) so that I can make sure every task is allocated to someone and nothing goes undone.
8. Keyboard shortcuts
Did you know that if your mouse broke right now there is not one single action that you couldn’t do using just your keyboard? I have a printed list of keyboard shortcuts in my notebook for ones I haven’t memorized yet, but overall this is another time saver I couldn’t live without. Another one of these things that may save only seconds at a time, but I promise you’ll thank me later.