Advice from Gavin Bacon, Owner of PATC

It is easy to get into a disorganised state of mind and become messy at work when we move closer to the end of the year. I have put some tips together for you to use to avoid this from happening and to help you stay on top of things. When organising your office desk space and paperwork, I always find it easier to separate things into 3 more manageable piles:HOW TO BE ORGANISED

  1. Urgent matters
  2. Important
  3. The rest
  1. So…what are “urgent matters”?

Urgent matters are those things that simply can’t be tossed to the side and need to be dealt with immediately. NO PROCRASTINATING allowed!

  1. Important Matters…

These must be given special attention – no mistakes – but can be done at your own pace or on time for a deadline in the near future.

  1. What about everything else?

Split these into two more piles to try make it easier to sort through and get done. The one pile should include things that can get done easily and quickly, things like a fax, email or phone call.

The rest can include more time consuming tasks such as delivering something or going out to buy something.

How to make sure you get through all the above piles:

  • Regularly go through each pile to make sure you are aware of what is in the three piles and that nothing is left too late.
  • Larger files can be put away but make sure you have the job/task written down

(you may prefer to work with an old school “to do List”, a digital diary or a desk calendar – just make sure it’s noted somewhere!)

  • Diarise big jobs and set exact time aside for these jobs. Don’t allow for interruptions while you are busy with these (unless it is urgent) so that you ensure the job gets done.
  • Deal with phone calls straight away – it is quicker to take a call and deal with it there and then – than to take a message and then call the person back later.
  • Keep your desk neat, tidy and CLEAR so that you can work with a clear mind. Use your shelves (and even the floor if to have to).
  • Add to the relevant piles periodically and continually. Set time aside to review these piles regularly – For example, I choose a Monday.
  • Clear ALL items before you go on leave so that you can take a break without items bugging you. Schedule the jobs that can wait until your return.
  • Let clients know when you are dealing with their job so that they are kept in the loop.
  • Lastly, have an “In Tray” – this is for people to leave the paper work they need from you (you can then divide those papers in your in try into the piles we have just discussed).

Happy organising!