Organized at work
September 22, 2013 8:20 AM Subscribe
What are your best tips and tricks for being organized and efficient at work?
I’ve read books and taken a webinar on time management/productivity in the last few months, but I found them less than helpful because they seemed to assume that: a) I can make the decision to eliminate certain tasks and b) I can delegate tasks to someone. Neither of these things is true. I am the low person on the totem pole here.
posted by Serene Empress Dork to work & money (13 answers total) 53 users marked this as a favorite
Some of the things I am struggling with:
1. Managing tasks – Some of my regular tasks (daily, weekly, monthly) have a bit of flexibility as to when and how often they need to be done. Because of this, they often get put off longer than they should while I attend to more urgent projects. But it seems like there is always an urgent project and it is hard to find time to do the important/non-urgent stuff, which has now built to epic proportions due to being neglected for so long.
My boss is partial to Outlook for assigning and tracking my tasks. I find it confusing (admittedly I have had no training in Outlook so everything is trial and error.) It just feels like everything is in a jumble (maybe I’ve got 15 things “due next week”… but when next week?)and of course I’ve got too many things “due today” not to mention a couple things in the red. I’m sure there are some Outlook Tasks best practices, but damned if I know what they are.
2. Email – I’ve got a lot of “in process” stuff in my inbox. User emails me with an issue, I have to forward it to Support Person 1 for the solution, and then get back to User with the answer. (Yes, I am required to be the middleman for the time being.) So there is a point in time when I’ve got User’s email hanging around waiting for an answer, and then another point where I get an email from SP1 with an answer, but it's not quite right so we have to go back and forth a few times (often getting SP2 and SP3 involved in the conversation) and meanwhile all this stuff is just getting buried in my inbox as new stuff comes in.
3. Organizing files on the computer – how to make sure I can find what I need later on? It always seems to make sense to name the notes from the CRM meeting “CRM Meeting Notes 09.16.13” but then the other day I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to find the answer to a question that I knew had been answered in a weekly CRM meeting sometime in the last 4 months but had no idea which one.
4. Processes – Developing, documenting, and updating processes for multi-step tasks (and how to store this information so I can find it when I need it?)
5. Tracking bits of information through a process – dear God.
I need to know how busy people who are holding it all together on the job manage to do that. What are your tips, tricks, hacks, etc. that keep you on top of everything?
Also, any recommendations for organization books that give clear, practical and specific advice for getting and staying organized in the office, that don’t assume I can delete or delegate? I started reading GTD but found it somewhat overwhelming (the book itself… I never even got to the point of trying to implement the techniques.) I’d be willing to look at it again if there is a way around the delete/delegate portion, but would still like to know if there is anything else good out there.
Organized office drones of Metafilter, please share your wisdom!