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February 8, 2016

Becoming Organized to Become a Better Manager

Business

Jeff Cochran

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Managing employees requires the ability to handle many tasks and many personalities at a time. Managing your time, workload, and team members can be overwhelming if you’re disorganized or unprepared. You can’t manage others if you aren’t managing yourself. Becoming organized isn’t as difficult as it seems; sometimes you just need to know where to get started.

Organizing Your Space

Your office can’t run smoothly buried under a mountain of clutter. Here are some ways to create a clutter-free environment so you can work as efficiently as possible:

  • Free up storage space – Decluttering begins with cleaning out all your drawers and file cabinets of unnecessary papers. If you don’t need it, don’t keep it.
  • Clear the desk – Your desktop should be clear of anything that you’re not currently working on. This will help you better focus on the tasks at hand.
  • Keep essential items within reach – Having the tools that you use regularly, such as your computer, phone, or fax, within reach will eliminate the need to leave your desk, helping you work smarter not harder.
  • Put everything in its own place – Using a variety of desktop organizers or trays to sort different tasks or projects will put what needs to be taken care of front and center for you visually.
  • See it through – You’re not truly done with a project until you’ve filed it away. Taking care of the finishing details right away will not only keep the clutter at bay, it’ll also keep your mind free of clutter as well.
  • Clean up before you go – Straightening up at the end of the day will give you a head start in the morning.

Managing Your Time

Time is usually what most people have the most trouble managing, probably because it can’t really be managed. Time is measured in seconds, but real life happens at its own pace. People often say, “Time flies when you’re having fun,” because you don’t feel the seconds, you feel the progress.

Here are some real ways to manage your time without falling into the trap of trying to master the clock:

  • Plan ahead – By setting aside the first 30 minutes of your day to plan your schedule, you’ll be able to set your priorities and keep them at the forefront of your mind for the day.
  • Schedule appointments – Ditch the to-do list and opt for an appointment book instead. There will always be more to do, but if it’s an important task, assigning it a time block with a beginning and an end and sticking to it will help you get it done.
  • Plan for interruptions – Life is full of surprises, and sometimes those surprises can lead to great discoveries while avoiding them can lead to huge problems. As a manager, you’ll need to complete your workload and make yourself available to others as well. By setting aside some time to be interrupted, you’ll be able to take care of both without spreading yourself too thin.
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