Taking control of all the projects, tasks, and questions flooding in can be a lot for any experienced manager. In fact, 41% of workers feel that stress is a major factor in their levels of productivity. Effective organization not only allows you to quickly find any information but also mentally supports you. If you are looking to do a bit of spring cleaning, then here is how you can organize your work:
1. Track your workweek
To become organized you first need to understand everything you are doing in a week. We recommend an Excel sheet or other platform where you can notate what you did every half hour or hour. On your sheet also note if that task, meeting, etc. supported the company and/or your career, and was it part of your job, a stretch opportunity, or an outside task.
Now that you have a record of everything, it is time to review what happened. Not every week will be the same, but what you do in one week can reveal a lot about your work habits. Here is a list of questions to ask yourself as you review your tracker:
- What took the most time?
- What moved projects forward?
- Are there tasks you don’t know how to do well that others are experts at?
- How many tasks are not part of your responsibility, but you are taking on?
- Was each meeting productive?
- What times of the day/which days were you most productive?
- Were you able to find time for your professional development?
3. Eliminate & Delegate
You are probably ready to start making some changes since you’ve looked through your tracker. The easiest way to begin is by noticing tasks that you are taking on that someone else could be doing. Consider team members who are more experienced or are looking for a leadership opportunity. Delegation does not mean you are putting your work onto someone else. Instead, it allows managers and other higher-up professionals to continue working on the big picture while leaving the tactical execution to other individuals.
For example, if you spend an hour a day creating social posts for an upcoming sale, it takes time away from being able to track larger project deliverability and define brand goals. Allow the expert people around you to take on the work they do best.
There are tons of little thirty-second tasks you do in a day that can build up to spending all day on these “tiny” tasks. For instance, how many times have you lost hours responding to emails or spent time digging around your business analytics. Automation is part of many platforms like AirTable, Hubspot, Trello, and more to help you notify your team through Slack, Teams, Email, etc. Take advantage of the platforms you are using to help you master the small stuff.
Do you want more tips? Check out this free resource from the IAW Member Resource Library!