David Jordan was a messy and unorganized person. “I realized I wasn’t being as responsive as I could be,” Jordan recalled. “It was a roadbloack to having a good reputation and developing my career.”
Cluttered desktops and poor personal organization is water under the bridge now for Jordan, the CEO of Vela Insurance, and all because ten years ago Jordan attended a time management workshop. The results were career-changing.
“It was a revelation,” Jordan said. “I learned to put common sense ideas in place to turn things around. I have utilized those principles every day since and they have stood the test of time. A few simple ideas changed work life for me.”
Jordan suggested these easy tips to make work life less stressful and easier to manage:
- Do not put off the tough stuff. When you have a difficult assignment and you know it will take time, it is better to get it out of the way first. Then you can focus on everything else that is calling your name.
- Do not be a slave to email. Stop looking at your email every 30 seconds to see what has come in. Allocate times to check email. Maybe 15 minutes each hour, or whatever works best with your schedule. Otherwise, email can run your life instead of the other way around.
- Do not let the paper get the best of you. Crowded and covered desks do not work anymore. Many people have migrated to paperless operating systems, but the same principle still applies to your computer desktop. Organize things in folders and get rid of the clutter, both physical and electronic.
- Do not waste money to manage your time. Workshops do not have to be elaborate or expensive. Some programs want you to invest in day planners and desktop software. Sometimes none of those things are necessary. An alternative to expensive planning tools is to attend a day-long seminar on time management.
- Set aside time for other work duties. Make time to return phone calls, just like you would emails. Dedicate a block of time for personal contact with co-workers, especially if you are in a leadership role. Walk around, check in and see what the employees of the company are doing.
Jordan also suggested personalizing workspaces to prevent work from being too institutional. Not being a slave to the monitor will help to keep your health and vision.”
Build in breaks,” Jordan said. “Just getting away from the computer for five minutes is very beneficial and encouraging.”