“One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.” While this quote is true it is often times too late to act on an opportunity therefore it is missed. If you are a leader at your respective shop it can then be conceived that you are somewhat out of control.
Becoming a bit more organized in your day will allow you to have priorities that are clear in your mind and can help you orchestrate complex events with a masterful touch. You can transition smoothly from one project to the next without wasting motions. People will begin to believe the promises you make because you are following through on them. When you enter a meeting you are prepared for it and when you show that hand of knowing the topic ~ well it pays off.
It might sound funny, but I run into a lot of data professionals who are and are not organized. I get it; it happens to everyone – but if you are interested in taking steps to become organized below are some thoughts that may help you on your journey.
Set Your Priorities
Sounds easy enough? Two things that are difficult to get people to do. The first is to do things in order of importance, and the second being continuing to do the things in order of importance. Try listing out all your major responsibilities according to importance and time needed to accomplish those tasks. This will become the gauge to help keep you on track and keep moving forward. Perhaps start with a monthly checklist.
Place Priorities In Your Calendar
Place this list in a prominent area such as your calendar. You could also share this list with a trusted resource for accountability sake pending on the nature of the item.
Allow Time For The Unexpected
We all know that things will come up; that is inevitable. Based on your role as a data professional you can build in additional time to the priorities that need to be accomplished.
Do Projects One At A Time
A feeling of being overwhelmed is the result of too many projects that are clamoring for your attention. If this is something that happens to you then maybe try some of the following:
- Itemize all that needs to be completed.
- Prioritize things in order of importance.
- Organize each project that suits you such as a folder.
- Emphasize only one project at a time.
Work According To Your Temperament
If you are a morning person, then schedule time in the morning to be most effective; if you are a late starter then do the opposite. Whichever holds true, be sure to not allow the weaknesses of your temperament excuse you from what you know you need to do to work most effectively.
Use Your Driving Or Travel Time for Light Work And Growth
I was given some great advice a long time ago. Whether you ride the subway or drive the car use this time to reflect on your thoughts. I have several friends for instance who, while on the subway, knock out tasks or read a book that continues their growth process as a data professional. No, I’m not saying never turn on the radio for a jam session, but I am saying you may find some useful time on the drive in to the office.
Develop Systems That Work For You
Whether you utilize your phone, computer, calendar, or writing tasks down – all of these are there to help you do things better and quicker. By improving them, you can decrease your expenses and increase your results. Don’t fight the systems; instead improve upon them. Remember, you are the CEO of your journey.
Always Plan For Those Minutes Between Meetings
I find myself in meetings constantly. That can be both good and bad. Hours can be saved by making the best use of minutes in between meetings. I try to keep a list of things to do that can be done anywhere in a very short amount of time. Keep handy a list of things you can do in a short time such as:
- Email reply.
- Call to make.
- Thank you note to jot down.
Focus On Results, Not The Activity
Doing things right versus doing the right things? Focus on doing the right things and what is truly important. Welcome responsibility and be responsible for who you are. It is often rare to find a person who will be responsible, who will follow through correctly and finish the job. An old boss of mine once told me the following:
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do”
Whatever the case may be take steps to improving yourself along your journey and look for ways to help improve efficiency on your day-to-day processes. These items mentioned are just to provoke your thought process; not something that is or should be a standard for you. If you’re struggling; maybe try some of them out and see how it works for you. Don’t expect more from others than you expect from yourself. Get after it and let’s get it done.