Some people seem to be naturally organised – they have all their paperwork completed, an address book with updated contact details, birthdays written on their calendar, and their tasks at work are completed well before their due date. Personal and professional organisation can be learned though, so even if you were not born with the talent of keeping your life, information and possessions in perfect order, there is hope for you to improve!
As a professional you will be more satisfied with your work if you are organised and you are not constantly stressing about missed appointments, lost documents, and forgotten tasks. Other people you work with will respect you for your attention to detail and your reliability, and your organisation skills will enhance your professionalism and work credibility. So how then, can you learn to be a super-organised professional and be rewarded with reduced stress and increased productivity?
Less Procrastination and More Planning
One of the most positive traits of an organised person is that they prioritise being organised. This means they actually make time in their busy schedule for planning and reflection, so their minds can fully process and understand everything that needs to be done.
Each person will have their own preferred time for planning and organisation, so think about the times that work best for you. Is it the morning while you are having your breakfast or travelling on public transport? Is it at the end of the day before you crawl into bed, or do you have the most time to yourself while you are on your lunch break? Choose a time and stick to it so you form a habit, and avoid procrastinating about it.
Planning involves getting your calendar out, revisiting your list of goals, making arrangements with other people, and adding tasks to your to-do list. This can be completed using a paper diary or notebook, or using electronic equipment, such as a smart phone, tablet or computer. Some people even find that they like to use both paper and digital forms for their planning.
In the industry of translation, many professionals work from home and need to juggle multiple projects. They may use online tools to track the time spent on their jobs, record the translation tasks that they need to complete, and calendars to plan their work in advance. Each professional will have their own needs for organisation, so consider what is important to your industry.
Quality Not Quantity
The first step to completing all of your tasks is to have fewer tasks to complete. Super-organised professionals are very good at saying ‘no’ to unnecessary commitments, delegating or outsourcing tasks to other people, and crossing off items on their to-do list that really do not matter. Unorganised people often do too many things and perform poorly at all of them, so why not try focusing on quality over quantity and put your best efforts towards the areas that matter the most.