Top Tips on Organising your Workload
Imagine wanting to make a cup of your favourite tea, let’s say Earl Grey. Now imagine that all the steps required to make this cup of tea are muddled up in your mind so that you don’t know where to begin.
Sometimes people with learning difficulties struggle mentally to organise and plan when they will complete their tasks. This can result in difficulties with meeting deadlines, performance issues, and various other challenges. Today I’m going to share with you the top 3 organisational tips that I practise with my clients.
Tip 1: Create to-do lists
Linear or Covey’s quadrant style, electronic or paper-based: it doesn’t matter. Just by writing your tasks down you create a structure for your day and reduce anxiety. Don’t forget to tick tasks off once you’ve completed them - this will give you the motivation you need to keep using your list as guidance throughout the day. Can’t complete the whole of your to-do list in one day? That’s totally natural! Be realistic with how long tasks will take you to increase the likelihood of carrying out all your tasks. Click here to get two printable to-do lists designed by us.
Quick win: Keep your to-do list organised by using a single system, for example, one specific notebook.
Tip 2: Mind mapping
One of my favourite techniques is mind mapping, which structures what’s in your mind into a visual picture. This is a great way to be specific and add the small details that a large task entails. It also gives you the chance to practise your creative skills.
Quick win: If you feel that paper doesn’t work for you, mind mapping software like MindView is available, as well as applications like MindNode.
Tip 3: Emails
If you struggle with reading, responding and filing away emails, welcome to the club. A lot of people leave their emails unread or fail to respond because they feel overwhelmed by the task. This can be even more common for people with learning difficulties like dyspraxia, who can often struggle to plan time to go through their emails. One solution is to block out time in your diary to categorise your emails, for example 10 minutes in the morning, before lunch and at the end of each day. You can categorise them depending on the project, sender or importance. Among others, I tend to have one folder called ‘action’ where I move the items I need to action within the same day and another folder called ‘useful’ where I file away emails with useful information like procedures.
Quick win: You don’t have to be at your desk to go through your emails. Make the most of those few minutes while waiting for a meeting to start.
It’s important to keep in mind that the key to seeing results is to keep practising these techniques regularly and decide whether they work for you. You should also be flexible and tailor them according to your needs and your role. I would encourage you to block out time in your calendar to dedicate to these practices, as being more organised can lead to greater productivity, better concentration and less stress.
Are you a manager? Why not introduce these techniques to people within your team who may be struggling.
At Lexxic we offer Organisation coaching sessions to help people improve their ability to organise, plan and prioritise their workload more effectively. If you’re interested in our coaching services or CPD accredited online modules get in touch via email@example.com, lexxic.com or neurotalentunlocked.com to find out more information.