Every morning as we arrive at our desks, we survey the chaos that is about to unfold throughout the day. Some people sit down and prepare for the day with organized desks and their to-do lists ready to go, while others can’t even find their to-do lists amid the stacks of paper and yesterday’s coffee.
I prefer to sit down to the former, and as a member of the Media Relations & Marketing team at Identity, a good part of my day is spent managing the chaos. With status sheets, timelines and to-do lists as my arsenal, I attempt to tackle each project in an organized fashion. No, I am not an overly-organized, crazed PR professional, but I have picked up some helpful tips along the way to keep not only my desk organized, but also the projects I’m working on.
Here are three tips to get you started:
1. Take a Microsoft Excel class. I’m a big fan of Excel. It’s my personal favorite in the Microsoft Office Suite, and I had the opportunity to take a few Excel courses. At the time, I thought I knew how to make a pretty good chart, but figured it was mostly useful for building budgets. I took the tips and tricks I learned in the class and applied them to a variety of status documents. I’ve found that presenting a timeline that can automatically change colors based on each project’s status can not only impress your co-workers, but also keep the project on schedule.
2. Write it down. We have too much floating around in our brains at one time. I always feel less stressed when I have my to-do items written down and prioritized. Taking the extra five minutes at the end of the day to write a to-do list for the next morning is always helpful and worthwhile. Plus, crossing the items off your list, no matter how small, makes you feel one step closer to the finish line.
3. Keep your computer desktop clean. Yes, it’s easy to save all your documents and items to your desktop, but who wants to see all that clutter covering up your background image? I live by this motto: “The more folders, the better.” Create standards for naming your folders so it’s easy to find the documents. Plus, it’ll make starting up your computer faster with fewer items to load.
Sure, there are some days the papers pile up, but having your projects organized will help you combat those times and make them few and far between. These tips have helped me, but everyone has their own style.
What do you find helpful? I would love to learn and try out something new!