Stay Organized So You Don't Drop the Ball!
Some tips on being organized at work so, you do not drop the ball for your team!
Author: Liz Frome, Job Shop President
Working as a team you need to be Organized; to not let your team members down.
I grew up playing sports my entire life and in order to play sports, go to school, and work I had to be organized. I correlate playing sports to being organized at work as both are built on and around team members. If you are not organized at work, you will let your team down which could lead to you being cut from the team.
Why is it important to be organized?
If I am not organized, I am not productive at home or at work. I do not want to waste time trying to find things, trying to stay on track, or trying to remember what I was going to do. I want to make sure I meet the deadlines and exceed expectations for the clients and candidates of The Job Shop.
A big part of my business is to be organized, which leads to 100% client and candidate satisfaction. The Job Shop has created a workplace system that the entire team follows and if you stray off the field, then you let the entire team down; which could lead to a loss of a client or candidate. Communication with your team members is key but you need to be organized in order to communicate what needs to be done. (I am always open to improving our systems but unless changes are made than the expectation is to follow the current plan.)
For me staying organized is a result of planning and daily action. I start my day by looking at my action list and I end my day by reviewing and updating my action list; so I do not drop the ball on any key tasks and so I am organized when I am ready to work the next day. At The Job Shop we have to constantly remind ourselves of the actions we’ve committed to, so we don’t let each other down. We haven’t always been perfect at this, but we are consistently striving to be better.
Being organized helps you gain control of your time so you can plan and complete the tasks needed to achieve your goals and exceed expectations.
Here are some organizational tips that will help you reach your long-term goals at work and create a successful winning team.
1) Review your goals
Remind yourself of your long-term goals and revise them when necessary. Set daily action plans to meet your goals. Understand the action plan for the team and review to make sure the team is on track.
2) Action lists
Make daily, weekly, and monthly action lists of important tasks. Review your daily priorities at the beginning of each day and reset at the end of the day. I live by this and can’t sleep well if I did not review my action plan before I leave for the day. The key to this is to communicate to your team before you leave at the end of the day any important action items you were not able to accomplish that your team needs to handle before they leave for the day.
3) Be on top of time management
Schedule quiet time at work to accomplish tasks that need extra concentration. (At our office we have areas you can move to; so, you have less distraction.) You can also ask your teammates to not disturb you for the next hour. Do your most challenging work when your energy is at its highest; save less demanding work for other times. If you tend to procrastinate, focus on the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when the job is done.
4) Use calendars and planners
Check your work calendar daily to review your activities and avoid conflicts. It is also important to check the shared work calendar to ensure that you are on the same page as your team members. Write down all commitments in pencil rather than trusting your memory. Use planning and scheduling forms and software to help you map out long-term projects.
5) Divide up tasks with your team members
Work as a team to assign tasks to others; making sure the tasks assigned to team members are appropriate for their level of expertise. Team members should provide adequate training and feedback on assigned tasks. Make sure to touch base with your team to ensure they are on track to complete their tasks on time. If you know you will not complete your tasks on time speak up sooner rather than later to hand off any tasks that need to be reassigned.
6) Manage your mail and phone calls
Sort incoming mail into categories by priority or action. Make sure you keep up your inbox or this will start to be overwhelming. Try to eliminate as much junk as possible and make sure you check your junk mail in case an important client or candidate gets filtered. In this current world response time is HUGE or the clients will be onto the next vendor who can help them NOW! Taking the time to manage your email will save you a lot of time and frustration so, start today!
7) Reduce clutter – Let go!
Clear your workspace. Keep only the most critical items and information you need daily on the top of your desk. Eliminate paper and scan what you feel you need to keep. Have you kept that binder for a few years and have never opened it; it is time to let go! Toss out duplicate information and materials that will soon be outdated. Blank space is ok and helps clear the mind so you can stay on task to meet your deadlines.
8) Stay organized and on top of your plan
Once you are organized and have control of your action plans stay ahead of your plan. Spend 15 minutes at the end of each day clearing your desk and 15 minutes the next morning planning for your day’s activities. You will be less frustrated, meet your deadlines, and feel more energy at work and at home.
No one wants to drop the ball in the 9th inning with bases loaded and 2 outs. Your team members will not forget who dropped the ball! Make them remember who hit the home run instead!