Manage those emails
Come on people, manage that electronic mail! If you don’t keep on top, you’re going to get swamped – if you’re not already. Best practice is generally to skim read through all new mail before getting stuck into the work day, to prevent any surprises or miscommunications (e.g. client knocking on your door, whilst you’re waiting in a coffee shop) popping up. Go down the list later and address your most pressing priorities first. Don’t forget, your clients/customers appreciate when they receive a response in a timely manner too!
Fill in that Calendar
Do you constantly find yourself wondering at the end of the day what you were actually doing for the past 8 or so hours? You need to get yourself into the routine of planning and filling in a daily calendar, making sure you are attributing the correct amount of hours on meetings, client projects or personal tasks. It will be much easier to see where you are spending those dwindling hours – and soon enough you should be able to notice a trend in your daily/weekly work schedule. Don’t forget that digital calendars can also alert to you events, so you don’t miss that important meeting or accidentally skip that dentist appointment (again).
Clean up the mess
Ever find yourself slumping in your office chair, staring at the piles of scrap paper and snack wrappers that are littering the desk? Perhaps you’re too busy casually stuffing papers into overflowing filing cabinets? Sometimes when we’re busy, we skip little steps (like throwing rubbish in the bin, or emptying the in-tray) to attend to other, more pressing tasks. But too much clutter in your office or on/around your desk can really cloud your headspace, slow down your work and be downright distracting. Do yourself a favour and don’t skip these little steps! Then give yourself the time once a month or so (put it in your Calendar!) to do some spring cleaning – empty out the filing cabinets, give the windows a wipe and even give your screen and keyboard a nice clean (imagine the dust and sneeze particules on them, ew). You will feel free to move forward productively and not let any junk slow you down!
Clear your head
Sometimes (even with all of these great tips) your brain is simply brimming with too many ideas and urgencies, that you can’t even concentrate properly on 1 little idea. Maybe you get stuck watching the clock, waiting for inspiration – or start spinning in circles in your chair. Do yourself a favour and STOP, and go clear your head. Take a coffee or lunch break, soak up some sunshine and fresh air, have a power nap, go to a quick gym class… Just do something that gets you out of the office, which helps you to open and clear your head… To make room for more stuff!