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Organizing Habits #19-23

Effective work habits keep our productivity up and our stress levels down. You may be tempted at the end of each day to just turn your back on your disheveled workspace. But, reality is you will just have to face it the next morning.

If you invest 15 minutes today preparing your space and organizing your work you will not only save yourself lost time tomorrow you will also save your company lost productivity. And, we all need to be affecting the bottom-line positively rather than negatively.

Using 5 effective work habits can help you focus on the tasks at hand right away in the morning instead of wasting an hour before hitting your stride. 15 minutes before you leave your workplace follow this routine:

1. Clear your work surface - of papers, files and supplies. Jot down notes with your last thoughts or actions on projects, so you can pick up easily where you left off. Return project and action folders that may have piled up during the day to a vertical system on your work surface if they are still “active”. Once “inactive” they should find a place in your reference file system in a file drawer. Put away any materials you’ve taken out. Returning them to their designated place now will save time when they are needed again.

2. Write a To Do list - Make a written plan now for tomorrow. While unfinished tasks, new priorities and lingering details are still fresh in your mind write them down. Review your calendar, e-mail messages, and voice mail messages for meetings and appointments that may require prep time. Noting your To-Do’s on either paper or in an electronic format will keep them handy and easy to find for review and updates the next day. Prioritize your To-Do’s and schedule them into your calendar when you will complete them.

3. Confirm appointments - Avoid any possible miscommunications by confirming the next day’s appointments by email, voicemail or both as necessary.

4. Synchronize your hand-held devices (Blackberry, Treo, iPhone, etc.) - with your computer calendar so you don’t overlook an appointment or double book yourself.

5. Back-up your computer - While system crashes are usually infrequent, that’s of little consolation if it happens to you. Take preventative action each day by backing up your work.

Using this end-of the day routine will help you establish effective and productive work habits. You’ll be in control of your day instead of your day controlling you!

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