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Ensure your physical workspace is organised.
A place for everything and everything in its place.
This will save time by ensuring you can find what you need quickly and easily and help keep your work area tidy. Keep items you use regularly within easy reach – whether they are current job files or pens and pencils. Make time to file items or tidy on a daily or weekly basis.
Keep your computer desktop organised.
Unclutter your computer’s desktop of unnecessary links and files. Group related files together in folders in a logical manner. Create quick links for all regularly used applications and websites.
We all need a break from the computer at times, but some distractions, such as computer games can suck up valuable work time. If you eliminate these products from your computer, you’ll be surprised how soon you forget about them. You are better off getting up and moving around for a few minutes or getting a list of hand and arm exercises to practice at regular intervals to minimise overuse symptoms.
Keep business and personal emails separate.
This way you are not drawn into organising personal activities in productive work time. Checking emails should be limited to set times of the day or week. Access to Social networking sites such as Facebook should be avoided or limited to a set time.
Turn off chat.
Many offices and Web applications have Web chat. Unless this is essential to your business, turn it off, or put your account on “busy.”
Handle items in your inbox only once.
When you are dealing with mail and other items in your inbox, whether it is physical or in your email, make a decision on what is to be done with it and sort them into action piles – such as bills to pay, items to file or replies to be written. If necessary put a post it note on the items so you can see at a glance what is required. This will save time in resorting.
Refocus your down time. Have a list of non-urgent tasks you can do when you are between projects.
Such as: Sort out that jumbled drawer. File those brochures you collected from the last business networking expo. Update your contacts list. Learn something new about some of the software you are using – either by using the help menus or watching a “how to..” video on the ‘You Tube’ website. You will be amazed at how much useful information is on the internet.
Think in terms of Tasks to be done instead of hours to work.
This will help focus on the task ahead and improve productivity.
When you organize your day the first thing you need to do is make a list... It is easier when you can see the tasks in one place. Consider time constraints – what needs to be done today, can something wait until tomorrow. Consider other people - what needs to be done in order for someone else to continue their part. Consider consequences – will the power be cut off if that bill is not paid on time.
Keep work at work.
Don’t bring work home. This will help you focused while at work and improve your personal life as well. If you work from home try to keep your work in your office or in an allocated area so you can step away from it to relax.
It may take time to adapt some of these ideas into your work area and mind set, but the effort will benefit you in the long term.
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