Making sure your team is working effectively and efficiently while you have your own to-do list to get through can be a challenge. You’ve dealt with the issues people on your team are having and, all of a sudden, there’s no time left to complete any of the duties you’re responsible for. And that kind of scenario doesn’t even account for anything urgent that might pop up through the day – another challenge managers have to deal with throughout their week.
So, what can managers do to balance everything out? Below, we’ll offer up some strategies and hacks you can use to improve your organisational skills and manage your time more effectively. Let’s take a look…
Why it’s important to be organised in your career
Organisation management has a huge role to play in your career. Right from the very beginning, strong organisation skills make a strong first impression, whether it’s turning up to work (and interviews) on time, hitting deadlines and staying on top of your workload.
Once you move into more of a managerial role, its importance only increases. Strengthening your organisation skills means you’re better able to prioritise important tasks, delegate less important ones, set and achieve goals, and maintain an image and reputation for reliability, competency and leadership.
Perhaps most importantly, however, organisation skills serve to keep your stress levels low and maintain a greater work-life balance. Without proper organisation, it’s easy for your tasks to spill beyond your core hours – at which point you’re working long into the night, and neglecting your personal life.
Benefits of organisation in management
Organising work and tasks throughout the day can help you out in all sorts of different ways. Take the below benefits, for instance:
- It increases productivity and efficiency: Organisation translates to focus, allowing you to better understand requests, track down necessary information and accomplish more in a shorter space of time.
- It improves workplace relationships: When you’ve a backlog of work to do that you’re staying late to complete, work events and office relationships will most likely go neglected. With organisation skills, you can put the time you save into what can be a vital long-term element of your role.
- It fosters greater problem-solving: With a clearer mind, you can recognise potential issues before they arise – and take the necessary steps to prevent them. This proactive approach results in fewer workplace problems.
- It keeps you “sharp”: For lack of a better term, organisation skills sharpen the mind, allowing less room for distractions and pre-occupations to take up space in there, so you can take on one task at a time to the fullest.
- It optimises communication: When you’re not frantically working to deadlines, you can better engage with those on your team by offering feedback, asking questions and making your opinions known. What’s more, when you’re focused, you’ll ensure you’re fully present during conversations, so you can pick up on important non-verbal communication from team members and clients alike.
Essential organisational tips for managers
Let’s move onto why you’re here: how to be organised at work as a manager. We’ve collected together some powerful, effective strategies below for you, hints and tips that you can use to optimise your own performance without compromising on the value your team bring to the table either.
– Learn to get your emails in order
Emails are a huge time sink. But as a manager, you’re going to be the point of call for a lot of people, so staying on top of them is going to be vital. So how can you deal with an inbox that’s stacking up thick and fast?
One method is to streamline your inbox into three folders, which are simply:
1) Action needed
2) Read later
By filtering emails into these specific categories, you’ll always know what needs doing and what can be saved for later. And rather than being distracted by them through the day, try setting aside a designated time for answering and actioning emails. This way you won’t have your focus constantly taken away from other tasks throughout the day.
– Book in your own time
Just like your team will be booking in time with you to discuss their own work, take the same approach to your own tasks. Blocking off and booking in time sends a clear message: you’re busy and need to focus – be explicit with your team if you have to as well. Once this time is over, you’re then free to give your time to your team. You can shut out distractions further by taking your work away from your desk and into a quiet room.
– Get to grips with reprioritising
Urgent tasks and requests pop up throughout the day, knocking the well-planned balance of your original schedule out of whack. The mark of any effective manager, however, is their ability to known which tasks need doing now, and which can be saved for later.
One way of doing this is by putting the needs of those who report to you first. If you’re the reason that workflow is being held up, then your team won’t be able to progress any further. By placing their needs first and completing requests that allow them to continue, the team is able to remain productive.
– Use time management and scheduling software
If you’re not using tools and software to help you and your team out, then we’d highly recommend starting. Project management tools like Trello and JIRA allow you to create tasks, assign them to team members, set deadlines, assign and attach files, and see how everyone is progressing. That’s a lot of information and activity to keep on track of, and without such tools, it’s going to be a struggle to otherwise organise.
– Plan for the next day the night before
At the end of the day, it’s well worth laying out tomorrow’s schedule. By being aware of what tasks need completing, any meetings you need to attend, or events you’re going to, you can head into the working day with a greater awareness and focus on what’s ahead. A haphazard approach to your schedule, one that “takes things as they come” won’t put you in a place to remain organised throughout the day.
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