Fiona Whitehouse of PA Anywhere has worked with us to compile some top tips for Time Management and Office Organisation.
Fiona says, “A clear desk mentality is about organising your day in such a way, that at the end of the day you finish with a sense of completion”
Sheryl says “A clear desk can influence how you think, but it is a combination of a clear mind and clear desk that can bring about the greatest improvement in Time Management. It is for me about having the skill and confidence to listen to the advice, opinions and suggestions of others then knowing how to filter out and establish what works for you personally
When you do this it is possible to attain a high level of success.
Each suggestion given in these articles and those given by well intended friends is always based on what works for them. You are unique and it is okay to take that initial concept and personalise it. Be curious about what works for you and be okay with being different.”
Here are our combined top 7 tips for better Time management
Set yourself up for success:
Try asking yourself these questions at the beginning of each day.
- For this day to be just the way I would like it to be it would be like what?
- For a day to be like that I need to be like what?
- Is there any other kind of resource or support I need from others, for me to be like that and the day to be like that?
Create the right physical space to work at your best.
These questions work for me:
- Am I in the right space?
- Am I at the right height?
- Am I facing in the right direction?
- Am I at the right angle?
Fiona, Ros and I have all discovered we work better on some tasks if we work off site. This is why our clients love our planning days, a safe and creative workspace to think, plan and manage their thoughts. We invite you to become curious about what kind of space works for you.
Fiona also recommends that you:
- Keep your reference paperwork off your desk entirely
- Keep your actionable paperwork vertical and sorted into relevant categories
- The things you use most often should be at your fingertips
- Only permanent stuff that you regularly need should be stored on your desk or in drawers.
Take a break:
- Organise your day into chunks of activity, 90 minute chunks work for me.
- Plan breaks
- Physically move in between tasks
- Eat and drink, look after your nutrition
I can work on the same thing all day, like today I am writing all day from 5am to 3pm but I will get up and go for a walk, put the washing on, tidy up etc every 90 minutes. Notice what works for you. Notice when you stop being effective and take a break
Manage Technology Interruptions:
- Set specific times of the day when you check emails. Turn off all email notifications in between.
- Educate your clients and family to know what works for you. I ask all my clients to text me if they need me to urgently to respond to an email, as I check my phone more often than the emails.
- Set specific times aside to interact on social media. I assume you wouldn’t book the whole day or attend the same networking group every day.
- Be okay with your phone on silent and put your phone to voicemail when you are working on something. Be unavailable. Check voicemails between activities not during
Do Delegate or Ditch:
- Clear your office desk every night before you leave
- Anything that is no longer used, you should ditch rather than store
- Tasks you do not like or you know you are not very good at Delegate them to others. (It will take them far less time)
- A To Do list should have time and dates when you will do it. What works for me is to instantly allocate a time in my diary otherwise it is simply added to a wish list and spends more time going around in my head than anywhere else.
Improve your Communications:
- Create rules that state explicitly when you can be interrupted and when you can’t. Remember if you say people can’t call you between x and y, then you will also have to remember not to call them between x and y. What you do, will be heard as much if not louder than what you say. So be sure those rules are what works for you, then communicate your rules clearly to others.
- Be okay with saying ‘No, not yet’ or ‘no, not at all thank you’.
Have a review process that allows you to evaluate the day after you have stopped working. These questions work for me:
- What worked today?
- How do I know what did I hear and see, that tells me that?
- What didn’t work? How do I know what did I hear and see, that tells me that?
- What needs to happen for it to work better?
- What would I like to have happen tomorrow?
I look forward to hearing what works for you
Founder Sheryl Andrews
The Communication Coach