Organizing your day is hard enough to do while juggling work and home life. To organize work; home and then homework life can be even more challenging. Below are just a few ways I try to create order throughout my day for a smooth workflow (well----as close to one as possible).
Check my calendar
Yes, I’m the crazy person who updates their notebook and electronic calendar simultaneously. Between my child’s social life (notice mine is not noted), and my work schedule I have to check, check and double check all meetings, appointments, etc. Checking my calendar to start my day helps me mentally prepare for meetings, refreshes my memory for what my week looks like, and ensures that I am in the right place! (My position causes me to travel throughout the city. It’s not a good thing to be here when I should be there).
As small as it may seem, this is probably one of the most important things I do each day. A lot of people either get caught up in their emails all day or put reading them off so much that they don’t get to them at all. Taking at least 20 minutes to read, respond and file my emails at the start of my work day and peeking in periodically throughout the day makes me more efficient and responsive for the day. Also there may be pressing matters or things that need to be added to my ‘to do list’ which leads to the next item on my workflow.
Create a to do list
This list helps me to focus, and ultimately get things done. It’s great to create a to do list while reading through emails and add tasks and projects as they come up throughout the day. This way tasks are not forgotten, nor are you distracted from what you are currently working on (unless the task is urgent). I’ve also played with adding to do list items to my electronic calendar and doing so is more helpful to me in areas outside of work, like my home to do lists. There is nothing better than a calendar alert to remind mommy and daddy that it’s potty time!
Previous positions have taught me the art of task mastering. Have you ever started working on a task or project and just as you entered your “groove” everyone in the building seems to have questions, concerns or tasks to assign to you?? Well in case you didn’t know, its ok to say “Is there a timeframe on this?” You can’t expect others to manage your time. It’s perfectly fine to prioritize their task within your current to do list. “Can I get back to you in a 1hour with the answer?” or “Let me finish this project, then I can assist you with your request” are both reasonable responses to distractions from your current projects. Remember, touching every task is nothing if none or only 1 is completed.
- Shana A. Willis 09/15/2015