Regardless of your job title, good organisational skills are essential to remaining focused, stay on top of your responsibilities, and having a high work output, especially as we enter the silly season. With just over 5 weeks to go until Christmas, it’s a timely reminder to become more efficient and organised so you can stay on top of everything, grow your business, and even increase sales!
So, what are the best ways to develop organisational skills?
Create a to-do list
Whether you’re simply filing and creating databases or your job as a senior developer means you need to lead the way in productivity, a to-do list is essential. It’s one of the oldest organisational methods and has stood the test of time. By having a list of tasks to complete, you can’t fail. You could even allocate a period of time to each activity, so you know when to start, how long you have, and when to stop to move on.
In fact, one of the biggest reasons to fall behind is by spending too long on one activity so everything else gets neglected. However, by allocating specific time for specific tasks, this is far less likely to happen.
Modern technology has also made it easier to manage your workload without the need for paper and pen. Cross-platform apps like Monday.com and Wunderlist allow you to create lists at home or on your smartphone while you’re on the move, and it will sync with the desktop program on your work and/or home computer.
This is an important but sometimes overlooked step; you should be taking notes all the time, from deadlines, what people tell you about your work, and even when you talk to others. Our memories are not always as reliable as we think, so it helps to have everything written down so you reduce the risk of glossing over any of details (big or small!).
For example, if you are talking to a partner or client and they mention something personal, like an illness, the next time you talk you can ask about their recovery. This shows you care and can strengthen a relationship, and ensures you never forget something significant.
Use a planner
This is similar to a to-do list but extends beyond what you need to do that day. With a planner, you can schedule meetings and conference calls in the future, and this makes sure you never forget an essential appointment. Have it in a prominent place so other people are aware of your commitments too.
The key here is to make sure you use it effectively. Check it before you finish work or head to bed, so you know what’s coming up the next day.
Get plenty of rest
While this is an old saying and may not seem possible with a heavy workload, rest is crucial. When you are tired, you lack concentration and focus, often opting to defer today’s tasks until tomorrow or, perhaps worse, completing them today but doing a poor job. If you are well-rested and refreshed, you can complete all of your tasks to your best ability and be able to move on without revisiting to improve what you have already completed.
Getting organised is not particularly complicated and is often more about creating a habit that sticks. Once you’ve got a routine down—using a planner, creating to-do lists, and getting to bed at a consistent time—it’s easier to get things done. As a result, you will become more efficient, produce better results, and that makes for a much happier, healthier work-life balance.