Tips For Your Office
by: Ilene Drexler
organized at the office involves managing a few key activities effectively:
increase in productivity from investing a small amount of time in efficiently
managing these activities upfront is more than worth the result.
up with the daily onslaught of emails is a major challenge for most of us, both
personally & professionally. The following tips will help you manage the daily
flow of emails:
an electronic filing cabinet, much like the physical cabinets you have, with electronic
folders for category names
emails have been read and responded to (if an action is required), move the email
from your inbox to your storage folders. This makes it easy to track which emails
still need an action. Many companies impose limits on inbox size.
By moving your mail out of your inbox to a personal folder, an added benefit is
that the restriction on size will not interrupt your day at precisely the moment
you need to send an email.
your email program includes previous email content for that email string when
replying, be sure to delete earlier versions of the string to avoid redundant
emails filed. This makes it much easier to find the latest copy in the string
when searching later.
your email has an attachment file, detach and save it as a file in your electronic
filing system for future reference, so you wont have to go searching through
your emails to find the file later. Relying on email subject headings can create
a time consuming search for the file later.
you frequently send the same type of email, save a copy as a draft or template
that you can reuse over & over (changing the specifics such as name, date
and amount for each email)
a document is available electronically, but you refer to it frequently, print
it and keep it in a hanging file or on your desktop.
6 months or so, go through your folders and delete emails no longer needed. This
will save disk space and make your searches more streamlined.
you leave a voice mail for someone, if the issue you are calling about is a straightforward
question, ask it on voice mail to avoid playing telephone tag. Also, encourage
the responder to leave the answer on your voice mail if they miss you. However,
if the issue is complex, do not leave a lengthy voice mail explaining the issue
(out of consideration for the recipient).
you know you will be in meetings or unavailable at certain times, let the person
know o avoid voice mail telephone tag.
you are in the middle of a complex task that requires an uninterrupted thought
process, let voice mail answer the phone. Otherwise, take the call to avoid a
pile up of messages to return later.
messages should be responded to within 24 hours. If you have been too tied up
to answer a question or inquiry, at least respond to the person who called to
let them know that, and then give them an expected date by which you will have
the answer for them. This way you still seem responsive, even if you cannot address
their request immediately.
calling a meeting, always draft an agenda and attach it to the meeting invitation.
The agenda will serve multiple purposes:
This work equally well for small or large meetings, but becomes even
more essential to productivity with a large meeting
- Help attendees prepare for the
- Provide a sense of time allocated to each subject, so attendees
can be mindful of intended time allotments
- Focus attention on the key
issues to discuss (in case the meeting agenda gets sidetracked)
to others that you value their time & intend to make the meeting productive
the meeting, it is helpful to prepare meeting minutes. The minutes
provide a summary of the key points discussed, and the associated outcomes and
action items. They serve as a helpful recap for the attendees, as well as others
who could not attend, but who have an interest in the subject matter. A track
record of accurate meeting minutes also helps to keep meeting size to a manageable
volume, as all of the affected parties will feel less of a need to attend the
meeting in order to understand its directional outcomes.
day before the meeting, make sure to arrange for copying of any required handouts.
co-workers are always dropping by for impromptu meetings, dont hesitate
to create a Do Not Disturb time to be used for those complex thinking
projects, where being interrupted has a big impact on your train of thought.
The Organizing Wiz, Ilene Drexler works with residential clients who want to get
organized in their home or offices. As a member of the National Association of
Professional Organizers (NAPO), as well as the National Study Group on Chronic
Disorganization (NSGCD), Ilene is a part of the industry's leading resources for
professional organizing. Ilene has honed her organizing skills during 20 years
working in corporate operations management, where her work was focused on redesigning
& streamlining processes, as well as project management.
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