June 1, 2016
Have you had a recent conversation where busy schedules weren’t mentioned? It’s fair to say everyone is busy. School, work, personal lives, social media lives and hobbies all claim a portion of your day. If you allow it, your busyness can get so out of hand you become a slave to your schedule. When you are at the whim of your busy lifestyle, it’s almost impossible to get anything done (except maybe talk about how busy you are).
But don’t worry! We’re here to help! You don’t have to let your busyness control you. Here are some helpful tips to help take control of the day and your career while impressing your boss at the same time.
End Your Day With Planning For the Next
A great piece of advice I received early in my career was that at the end of my day outline what needs to get accomplished tomorrow. This helps me plan my days better and start stronger. My day doesn’t begin with me planning the day ahead. I attack my day and that starts the minute I sit at my desk.
Start Being Organized on Day One
Strong organizational skills are something you should try to maintain throughout your professional career. The best time to start being organized is at the beginning of your career. If you start making organization a habit, it will be get easier as you grow. Know what you need to get done, where you need to be and how you’re going to efficiently complete tasks.
Always Know What You Need To Get Done
Staying on top of what you need to get done also helps you anticipate needs and requests. It could also help you foresee problems. It supports the development of the quality many managers revere – autonomy.
After you’ve settled into a role and you understand the requirements, you can probably begin to anticipate what your manager will need from you. Does your manager always request a weekly report on your current audit? Will your manager ask for updates on those marketing leads?
A Monday planning meeting is entirely different if you have anticipated as much as you can for the week ahead. At the planning meeting you can present information, discuss strategies on accomplishing tasks and plan for long term goals. The meeting is action oriented instead of, “I’ll send that to you when I get back to my desk.”
Now, there are always exceptions. In almost every job you’re responsible for a variety of things. You may never fully known what you’re going to be asked to do because you’re reacting to the needs of clients and colleagues. However, even in those jobs, there are a few things that remain static that you can anticipate.
Early is On Time
Staying organized also helps you with time management. The only true gift you can offer a king and queen is time. So don’t be late to meetings if you can avoid it. Show the person you’re meeting with that their time is valuable. Don’t delay providing requested information to managers. They may be waiting on information from you before they relay an update to their boss.
Schedule Time to Respond to Emails and Calls
Effectively managing your time can help you accomplish large and small tasks throughout the workday. Block time to finish reports and deliverables, so don’t respond to emails or answer calls. If you’re organized, your day won’t feel like a scramble. You’ll be busy, yes; but, there will be a level of finesse to the chaos.
If you’re already organized, congratulations! You’re ahead of the game, but continue to develop that skill. If you think your organization could use some work, talk to friends and colleagues about how they organize their day. I’m sure they’d be happy to talk about themselves! If you can talk to a manager or colleague, even better. You’ll have the added bonus of learning from someone that’s probably performed your exact tasks in the past.