Keeping up with your daily schedule

Keeping up with your daily schedule

Key tips for keeping to your daily schedule:

Use an “in-tray”. Make sure you use an in-try so that if other people have things they want you to do, they can place a file in your in-tray.
If there are specific requests that are regularly required, create a form that they can use to ensure that they provide you with the information you need to complete the task when you get to it.

Make sure you empty your in-tray every afternoon. This does not mean that you put the contents in a draw! Ensure that you have a scheduled time in the late morning and at the end of the day when you process the contents of your in-tray and decide what to do with them.

Hold regular weekly meetings. This can be the most effective way of driving the business forward by ensuring complete ‘buy-in’ from the staff at every stage, but only if they are run well.

  1. Always have an agenda. A meeting without an agenda is just a talking shop. Without the structure an agenda gives, the meeting will tend to meander from subject to subject without structure, which is inefficient and non-productive.
  2. Make sure everyone has a copy of the agenda at least one day before the meeting, longer if there are items on the agenda that they should prepare.
  3. Tell others to hold items until the regular meeting (unless they are genuinely urgent and can’t wait)
  4. Make sure that action items are decided on in the meeting:
    • Assign tasks. It is pointless to decide on action points unless someone is given the task of ensuring it will happen.
    • Decide on the deliverables. Make sure the action point has a clear objective that can be measured and make sure that the outcome is agreed upon by the person to whom the task was assigned.
    • Strictly enforce deadlines. Every task must have an outcome, and part of the outcome is when it will be delivered. It is vital that deadlines are enforced, if people can let deadline slide, they will. Often new tasks and plans never come to fruition, not because they are bad ideas but simply because they are not implemented.
    • Track the progress of assignments to ensure they are completed on time. If this is several weeks away, then the progress check can be at the weekly meeting, or you can arrange for regular reports to ensure you are kept informed along the way.

Schedule two 30 minute time slots each day for interruptions and impromptu “got-a-minute” meetings. The times for these interruptions should be posted on the door to your office or emailed to your co-workers in the morning. This way they know not to interrupt you except at these times, unless it is an emergency.

By following these steps you will be amazed at how much more effective and efficient you will become, without any real effort.

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