At Nexight Group, we’re excited that today’s the first day of spring. Not only does it mean we’ll soon get the beautiful weather we need to hold potlucks on our office patio, but it also reminds us to do some spring cleaning. Here’s some tips from our staff on how to get organized for the new season.
“I plan things out using the bullet journal system, which is a faster way to take notes than traditional methods. It’s great for breaking down tasks into manageable chunks, and works well for those with a busy lifestyle. Since you can use an undated notebook, it’s highly customizable and forgiving for those days…or weeks…when you don’t use it.” – Jenn Ganss, Research and Communications Analyst
“Getting and staying organized can be tough. The key to successful organization is to handle it a little at a time. It is easy to devote three minutes a day to putting something away in the correct place or categorizing it while it’s fresh in your mind. The problem is when you’ve neglected your duties for weeks or months on end, the three-minute task can take three hours, and often gets pushed off for even longer.
I prefer to block off periods of time for particular tasks like home cleaning, answering emails, and addressing miscellaneous work responsibilities. If I can successfully stick to a strict schedule of blocked time, the chores and duties quickly become second nature. I also make use of technology wherever possible. Every time I receive a new obligation, I add it to my phone—which is linked to my home and work computers—and tie it to a reminder that pops up to keep me on track. While this system may not work for everyone, it helps me immensely to have a structured schedule and constant reminders.” – Jack Holmes, Research Analyst
“I use a few methods to stay organized. First, I use a consistent file numbering system so I can easily find the files I need. For example, Nexight’s proposals follow a numbering convention of 17-1001, 17-1002, etc. The number 17 represents the year, and the following numbers are sequential for the order proposals were submitted.
I also keep a ‘Delete When Done’ folder on my desktop. When I need to save a new version of a file (e.g., to return comments on a draft document), I save it there to avoid cluttering up shared folders. Every month or so I clean that folder out.
While this last one may not work for everyone, I found that it’s easier for me to use sorting functions in email folders, rather than spend time organizing the more than 100 actionable emails I receive daily. To keep my mailbox size manageable, I periodically sort emails by file size and delete the 20-50 emails with the largest files. (This is a great airplane activity!) I find this to be a net time saver.” – Ross Brindle, Chief Executive Officer
“I continuously update a series of lists to ensure I use my time efficiently and also complete all the tasks I need to. One running list contains all the tasks I need to complete and the deadlines for each. I update a second list each week that breaks down all the tasks I need to complete each day in order to meet my deadlines.
I make sure to prioritize the daily tasks by order of importance. This way, if something unexpected comes up, I can make sure to finish the most important tasks first, and push back the less urgent tasks for later.
If I’m having a particularly busy week or month, I will use a project management method called a work breakdown structure (WBS) to help me schedule tasks. The WBS helps me break larger projects into smaller tasks, assign each task deadlines, and better understand which tasks are most crucial to a project finishing on time.” – Victoria Markovitz, Communications Specialist
As we found from talking to our employees, everyone has their own methods to help them stay organized. We hope some of these tips clicked with you, and that you can use them to jump right into spring cleaning.