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Ship Shape or Ship Wreck: 3 Ways to Set Sail for a More Wonderful Work Week

Photo: Elvis Santana

Troubled by too little time? Mourning a few missed opportunities? Stuck behind bars in e-mail jail?

It’s true that disorganization and the challenges of keeping up can get you down. You can lose quite a bit of motivation when frustration takes over after being bombarded by boatloads of information and communication. Here are 3 ways to make your work week more wonderful – and more productive:

1. Dock your boatload of cargo: When you walk around with a head full of reminders and to-dos you don’t want to forget, you’re not unlike a ship drifting endlessly out at sea with no map and no clear direction.

Professionals must have a reliable way to track and manage everything they need to do. And not just what they need to do, but when. And keeping it all in your head is not going to help you reach your priorities, much less prioritize.

Once you bring in your Good Ship Forget-Me-Not and dock it, you can start unloading all that cargo you’ve been carrying around. Do a brain drain and get all of those to-dos out of your head.  The best way to do this is to start an electronic Task List in Outlook or similar system. Continue building this list with every next step you need to take on anything and you’ll have to keep it all in your head ever again.

2. Look aft and look fore: I regularly see professionals challenged with following up from past meetings and lacking preparation for upcoming appointments. One of the best steps you can take is using the week view on your calendar so you can see yesterday, tomorrow and future days very clearly.

This is so important because you have to be able to review where you’ve been to capture follow ups you’re responsible for and see where you’re going so you can prepare.

3. Clear the decks: Need I say “Get organized?” That’s so typical, right? 😉 But here’s the thing… current research clearly shows the cost of disorganization to both professionals and businesses and the results bear watching. I’ll let the findings do the talking for me…

ACost of Disorganization” survey conducted by GfK Roper Custom Research North America for Brother International found the following among 777 full- and part-time U.S. professionals in April 2010:

a. 87% of office workers say when their workspace is disorganized they feel they are less productive than when their workspace is organize.

b. 30% of office workers have lost out on getting reimbursed for a business or travel expense because they misplaced or lost a receipt.

c. Close to four in 10 (37%) of office workers have gone into a work meeting feeling unprepared

So how about taking some time to invest in your future by getting organized so you can be and feel more professional, more prepared, and more productive? And when that happens, more success might be just around the corner.

By: Leslie Shreve, MyCity4Her Enterprise Expert

Leslie Shreve is a productivity expert, founder of Productive Day and the creator of Taskology™ The Science of Getting Things Done. Since 2003, Leslie has been teaching business owners, executives and motivated professionals how to get more clarity and control in their work day so they can enjoy more time, freedom, focus and success. For more information or to get started on the road to peak productivity, visit www.productiveday.com or e-mail leslie@productiveday.com today.

Stacey
Author: Stacey

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