We all know that person. You know, the one who has everything planned out and under control, is superbly efficient, never misses a beat and gets mountains of things done – all while we’re still struggling to get past the first task on our to-do lists.
As magical as it seems, being organised is a skill. But like all skills, it can be learned. Part of learning is knowing where to start, so we asked some of NetSupport’s top organisers to share their tips to help us all improve our day-to-day productivity and reduce chaos-induced panic…
Get in the zone
Let’s start at the very beginning: your workspace. Priscilla, our Marketing Coordinator, has some great advice:
“To be the most productive, I start my day with a clean, organized space that’s ready for work. For me, it’s all about being intentional with my space and having purposeful items that bring inspiration and joy.”
And you know what, she’s so right. Pushing aside three empty coffee cups, numerous chocolate bar wrappers, discarded bits of paper and a load of clutter does not give you the organised mindset you need for the day ahead. Being ‘intentional’ and ‘purposeful’ are definitely the key words here.
Being aware of what’s coming up, as well as the current things you’re working on, will help you better judge how to use your time wisely. As you can imagine, NetSupport’s Group Head of Marketing, Katie, has an immense number of tasks to juggle. She advises:
“Plan ahead as much as possible. At the beginning of each day, go through your to-do list and pick the ones you will tackle today.”
This is a great tip, as being well informed allows you to proactively navigate the ebb and flow of your work; if you know there’s a big project coming up that will need lots of your time, you can get all the small stuff out of the way before it happens. It also focuses you by making you select tasks to complete and tick off each day – and gives you the satisfaction of getting stuff done!
Maggie, our VP of Sales for USA and LATAM, has a different way to get ahead. She says:
“I intentionally start my day earlier than my team, so I have 30-60 uninterrupted minutes to focus and knock items out.”
Now, whether you manage a team or not, this is a great idea, as finding a block of time when you won’t be interrupted is a key part of organising yourself. As we all know, working collaboratively in a team is brilliant, but sometimes, if ideas are flowing, things need checking and conversations are going on, it doesn’t allow the space we need to actually do the work.
Being organised is not just about deciding how you’ll do things, but also about doing them as efficiently as possible. Being well-organised with your time and saving it where you can mean that you then have more to dedicate to bigger tasks. But you don’t have to do it alone! Our Head of Education, Mark, suggests you ask for a little help:
“Use your virtual assistant! Tools such as Siri, Hey Google and Cortana can be used to quickly open tools, take quick notes or add items to your calendar in the moment and can save precious minutes.”
So, make friends with your tech – let it pull its weight and save you some mouse clicks and keyboard strokes that you can put to better use elsewhere.
Focus – and finish!
Sometimes, we all need to enter the zone of deep concentration. Once you’re in this state, some kind of wizardry often occurs that means you suddenly find you’ve sped through your tasks in half the time. But getting to that state in the hubbub of a working day is beyond difficult sometimes. So, how do people do it?
When needs must, Business Support Manager, Jackie, goes dark. She says:
“If I’m really struggling to focus, I shut down Outlook and literally ignore everything other than what I’m doing.”
And if that doesn’t work, she goes to the next level:
“I put my OOO on, or block time out of my diary so I look like I’m in a meeting – but often, I’m just wanting to focus and not get distracted by alerts.”
Everyone has their own ways to enhance how they concentrate on tasks: Mark uses ‘Do Not Disturb’ tools to eliminate distractions, Maggie creates outlines before starting a project so she can then focus on it from start to finish, and Priscilla uses a productivity timer clock to help her designate specific time to tasks. There’s no right or wrong way to focus – it’s whatever works best for you.
So there you have it: real tips from real people to help you get organised!