As I mentioned in the May 5th post, one way you can effectively manage your office is through prioritizing and time blocking. In this post, I’ll delve into that topic a bit more.
One commonly proffered piece of advice is to create a task list. I like to do this in a spreadsheet like Excel so I can have columns that categorize and prioritize each task. I even include columns for start and end dates. Then, when I change categories or priorities, I just click on “sort” and the list re-sorts itself.
This also helps in the initial brain-storming phase. I can just type in all my tasks as I think of them and organize them later.
This is a strategy I just recently learned about. Basically, you write down all the types of tasks you do and then schedule large blocks of time to accomplish these types of tasks. For example, you may make telephone calls from 9 am to 10 am, then switch to writing letters from 10 am to 12 pm. Break for lunch and then work on administrative tasks from 1 pm to 2 pm. You get the idea.
The theory behind time blocking is that when you concentrate on one type of task for a set amount of time you are able to “get into the zone” and accomplish much more in less time.
Ruthlessly File Things in the Circular File
Another way to manage the large amounts of unimportant e-mail and snail mail we get is to “file” them as soon as we get them. When the mail arrives, quickly organize it into three piles: Urgent, Can Wait, and Trash. You can do the same with your email, too.
Setting Your Priorities
When faced with several projects, one way to get them done is to ask yourself, “Which one of these is both easy and quick to accomplish, and will give me a great return on my time invested?” This helps you tackle the high-yield projects first.
Well, that’s about it for this week. I hope you were able to get some good ideas from all the articles this month on how to better manage your office.