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September 3, 2009

Using Routines to Organize Your Work

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Every so often, we should examine the relationship between how we organize our work and how effective we are at getting our work done in an efficient and effective manner. Clearly, many ways exist to organize work, but they are not all equal. Some ways may actually add to our stress and make our work more difficult. Read the following case study and respond in the comments section on this blog.

Stacy arrives at the church office each morning around 8:30 A.M. She usually follows a routine of turning on the copy machine, making some coffee, checking her e-mail and reviewing her to-do list for the day. Often, though, she feels disorganized. It's not long before people are starting to drop by, the phone is ringing, and she finds herself continuously getting up and down
to get this or that.

What can Stacy do to better organize her time, her work, and herself? What routines do you follow that help you get your work done better? Do you have a morning routine, an afternoon routine, a daily, weekly, or monthly routine?

Comments

The one thing that works best for me is that I keep a lined tablet on my desk at all times, along with my message pads, etc.

That way, every week or so, I can (re-)write my to-do list on a page and keep it where I can see it every day. I write all tasks, small and large. As soon as I complete a task, I cross it off or check it off, giving me a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

In addition, I am constantly being asked (mostly by the pastor) to call various people to arrange his visitations, check on the status of certain things, check hospital patient statuses, follow up on items, obtain more information about events, etc, all of which require some type of action on my part. I usually have NO notice and little time to get details written down/composed. I am often also in the middle of other tasks that can/should not be interrupted. Therefore, when these requests come, I jot (sometimes very messy) notes on that tablet as well. Subsequently, I can perform these requested items as I get to them, and I don't forget the details of what I'm supposed to do.

This allows me to keep more on schedule with daily and weekly routines, while "absorbing" and balancing the unusual and sporadic requests.

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