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WEEK 7: Organizational Skills (From Chaos to Control)
3M’s numerous studies prove that being organized saves time and reduces stress. Joan Burge gives you 6 great tips and lets you in on some of her favorite tools!
Welcome to week seven, Organizational Skills. I’d like to know, are you having your fabulous Friday lunch and learn session, or your wind-down Wednesdays, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you should review the information section.
This section is one of the most imperative sections in this series. From surveying various managers, human resources personnel, executives, and training and development professionals, this is one of the top five competencies. It makes a lot of sense, in today’s time, with the fast paced society we live in; we have more things coming at us. We need to be organized! What happens when we’re not organized? We waste our time, others time, supplies and we don’t appear professional. 3M has done studies on just how much time is wasted when we don’t have things within reach when we need them.
To start we need to realize that:
1. Getting organized starts with YOU! If you don’t believe it’s important, then it won’t be important. But if you feel it is important, as I do, you’ll pay more attention to it. But there’s a twist, some people are not ‘wired’ to be highly organized; it actually has something to do with left side thinkers. People who use the left side of the brain need things in order, structured, they like things put in categories. If you’re not wired to be organized, you will have the make the conscious choice to be more organized.
2. MYTH: If I don’t have a messy desk, my manager won’t think I’m busy! That is so far from the truth, the fact is, a messy desk signals a lack of control and focus. So, if you think you’re impressing your manager by having things spread out all over your desk to “avoid” more work; YOU’RE WRONG. You’re actually scaring your manager, they think, “Well, if their desk is a mess, how will they know what the top priorities are? How do I know they won’t lose anything?” There have been times when I have had things all over my desk, but they have all been relative to each other. I’m either writing a program, or preparing a speech, and I have all my information out. It’s not that I have 10 different things out, but 10 things that relate to my one topic or task. Remember, you are at journey of administrative excellence, it’s about perfecting organization. I know it’s some of you out there who are very well organized, and good for you! However, have you thought about ways to perfect what you do really well? I have some tips, so get your pen and paper ready!
*Finding sources and supplies that are going to help you organize your space: There are a lot of great suppliers/manufactures that are out there with plenty of tools to help us organize our space. Use them!
*Be CREATIVE in your organizing: Just that simple, be creative in how you organize your work space.
*Look at the top of your desk: Your work space should NOT be your storage space. Take a look around and see if you are storing items that you don’t have use for right away, if so, find another place to store them. I like to use an idea that I came up with called clustering; in other words, you cluster similar items. Post-it notes with post-it notes, pens with pens; when you put your items in clusters with each other, you save time allowing you to reach these items faster. Keep in mind, minutes thru out the day add up to hours thru out the week.
*Use every inch of space in your draws and cabinets: A lot of people think they don’t have adequate space when in actuality they’re just not utilizing the space.
*Place items you use most frequently closest to you: This is something I’ve used for years provided to me from 3M. To save time, you’ll want the things used more frequently near by, and the things used less frequently stored away.
Activity for the week: Do an in depth analysis of your work area, look at your desk, your credenza, your file cabinet, your drawers, your storage units and really do an analysis of things you can do to condense.
• Are there things that you can remove?
• Things you need to reorganize?
• Supplies and equipment you don’t use?
• If you have a lot of pictures or ‘cutie’ items that are cluttered and it looks unprofessional, remove them. Remember, your work space can make the statement of how you really feel about your career!
If you have any success, drop me note, I’d love to hear from you. (firstname.lastname@example.org )