We all work in an environment where being organized is critical to our day to day operations. To be organized means that you have developed a way to sort your thoughts, appointments, priorities, etc., essentially resulting in long-term success. Organized people thrive in the work place. They are more attentive to customers, more efficient at their job duties, well prepared for meetings, communicate better with their superiors and peers and leave a strong, positive impression on their customers. They tend to multi-task well, spend less time searching for things, be more productive and get their work done within a normal business day.
Imagine… the CEO of your company pays you an unexpected visit to your desk. As approaching, he or she notices papers in dis-array, curling sticky notes posted everywhere, dust bunnies and yesterday’s lunch. You have now led them to perceive that you are struggling to keep up with your work, have upset at least three customers that day and are counting down the minutes until quitting time. Believe it or not, your peers and vendors perceive you in the same manner and most likely will not find you to be trustworthy, desirable or professional and therefore will not pursue you to help with projects or their customers.
Getting organized doesn’t happen overnight. It is a commitment that you have to make to not only yourself but to your organization and both your internal and external customers.
Here are a few pointers to help get you started:
- Clean your desk / car! Get rid of anything that is old and now irrelevant. Wipe away the dust bunnies, your phone and keyboard. Shake off the floor mats, vacuum the seats, dust the dash and run through the car wash.
- Designate an area for anything that remains important on your desk. Everything should have its own place and be returned there each time after use.
- Purge dated emails! Who needs emails from a year ago?
- CONSOLIDATE! Having a folder for every Jane Doe or supplier doesn’t benefit anyone, not even you, trust me. Simple goes a long way. A folder for each key account is perfectly understandable; everything else can be slid into the same folder labeled DONE or PENDING. This will prevent you from having to figure out which folder you slid something into when a customer calls looking for an answer.
- Make a daily to-do list and prioritize those tasks. Keep your resources handy.
- Utilize 1 calendar and make all appointments from it. Using more than 1 can lead to double booking appointments, forgotten appointments and missed deadlines. Imagine how an internal or external customer feels when you have to cancel or re-schedule an appointment. Their immediate thought is that you are drowning in work and they have now been pushed to the back burner for something more important. That leaves a very sour taste in their mouth, not only regarding you but most likely whatever it is you were to be meeting about. They may even be inclined to tell you they are no longer interested in meeting you because it would cause them an inconvenience to re-arrange / alter their schedule.
- Start each day / week fresh. Every night or every Friday, make sure you are set up for success the next day. This will allow you to start each day stress-free and with a positive mind.
Remember, mess = distraction and poor perception.
Strive to impress, whether it be through an email or a ride in the car with a customer.