“ For every minute spent organising, an hour is earned’ Benjamin Franklin
It’s possibly a bit cliche to start a blog with a quote but this is a good one and one which I wholeheartedly believe is true. For every business, I’ve worked in or with there has always been someone who has commented on how organised I am and how much I get done. In the early part of my career, I didn’t think much about this but as I’ve progressed I’ve realised the former has almost certainly been the catalyst for the latter and has laid the foundations for the thing I now make a living doing, successfully planning and executing marketing activity for businesses.
But how do I do it?
I set out priorities and how I’ll achieve them
At the start of every project, week and day, I set out priorities and tasks to be completed but I also take into account how I’ll achieve them. If I’m setting up a campaign for a client that could be considered one large priority or task but I also set out all of the elements underneath that task so that I can clearly see what needs to be achieved, there’s little point just putting ‘report writing’ on your to-do list if the reality is there are twenty-five different elements needed to make that one task happen. It’s also likely that there’s more than one priority on your list and that’s particularly true for me when working with different clients, so breaking down priorities into smaller tasks means I always know what I should be achieved on any given day and importantly my client always has clarity on where their project is up to.
I finish one thing before I start another
This may seem quite obvious but with emails pinging, slack notifications, reminders and more it’s very easy to become distracted however one thing I’ve taught myself is that task completion is incredibly important when it comes to being productive. From working in marketing departments where my attention was always divided to working with clients who are able to contact me irrespective of whether I’m working on their project that day or not, I’ve learned that completing a task before moving onto another one provides a clearer mind and it usually means that the next task runs more efficiently and smoothly too.
I tidy up
Tidy desk, tidy mind. I fully subscribe to this and really don’t believe you can work efficiently if you don’t know where anything is or you are distracted by clutter. As such, I regularly ‘tidy up’ both in the physical and electronic sense. I don’t keep reams of paper or documents I don’t need and I keep my laptop tidy. I file documents electronically every week and I do my accounts weekly, I file receipts when I get them and I delete things I don’t need from my computer and inbox.
I review things
When you are busy it can be easy to just get on with the ‘doing’ and not take a minute to review and reflect on whether things can be improved but! It’s really important particularly if you’re looking to improve how organised you feel and how productive you are. I regularly review the work I do for my clients, in the form of reports or updates, often they don’t ask for this information but it allows me to get a clear view of how I’m working and how I can improve and refine for next time, which in turn makes me more productive when I deliver similar work or projects.
I know things can change
I am incredibly flexible to the changing needs and demands of my clients - and why, because I am a prolific planner! Whilst planning everything can seem rigid, what it gives is, in fact, the exact opposite, because I know my priorities and what I need to achieve at any given time, it’s very easy to quickly assess how things can be amended to accommodate an urgent client request or those times when something just takes priority, as a result, I’m able to absorb changes to my schedule whilst remaining productive.
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