Get up and go and get a cup of coffee, and whilst you are there grab a tissue to give your mouse and keyboard a good clean. Gently hold your keyboard upside down and tap the back, you will be amazed at the debris that comes out.
Next have a sort through any piles of papers on your desk, run through any post it notes and shred un-needed paperwork. I like to do this about once a month or so as a clear desk helps clear your mind and ensure that no important work or messages gets overlooked or buried.
Don’t forget that most council recycling schemes will take away shredded paper if you bag it up.
Spend 10 minutes setting up an auto signature for your email messages. A client is more likely to call you if contact details are easily found at the bottom of every message. It’s worth including links to your website or any social media profile’s as well.
Setting up auto signatures is different on every email system but get in touch with me at email@example.com for a free how to session if you need one.
Set Up a Filing System
For most of us this will be an online system, but this method can work for paper as well. It’s good to start with using client or project names for your folders, and then having subfolders for years or months. You can use these in your inbox and then replicate them on your hard drive.
It is useful if you use more than one system or travel as lot to use a cloud storage service like Dropbox, a cloud storage system, which means you can access your folders from whatever system and location you’re in.
Set up a basic routine and schedule set time for tasks every day. For example scheduling 10 minutes every morning and evening to update a to do list. By doing this at the start of the day it can help gear your mind up for work. Updating and crossing off tasks at the end of the day is much more satisfying but will also help you clear your head and switch off for the day.
Don’t forget to block at least 30 minutes off for lunch. Even a short walk or time away from your desk can help you reflect differently on a problem or look on an issue with fresh eyes.
The Four D’s
Remember the four D’s
- Do- How long will it take to action the email, a few minutes you might as well do it then?
- Delegate – OK it will take 10 minutes to do this and John is better equipped to deal with this.
- Delete – Wow my inbox looks so much better now I’ve deleted all the irrelevant stuff.
- Defer – Ok this will take me a while to do, but I don’t have time right now, I’ll stick it my diary.
They mainly apply to emails but again can be translated to most tasks and they help you stay on top of things and stop your workload or inbox spiralling out of control.
Guest Blog by Wireless PA
Get organised with these tips from Isla of Wireless PA (based in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire).
Isla helps people get organised every day by offering a Virtual Assistant service for businesses.
Full details of her services and how she can help you can be found at www.wirelesspa.co.uk