Time to do away with the stress: Paula Gitles outlines 4 tools to improve efficiency in the office

Don't let your schedule run wild in 2016.

"Organization entails time management and space management," says Paula Gitles, president of Organizing Solutions for You. Business professionals who fail to understand these concepts may experience a slew of downfalls including missed appointments, not getting tasks done in a timely manner and rushing to complete tasks.

To avoid pitfalls that may impede productivity at a workplace, Ms. Gitles outlines certain organizational tools.

1. Sit down with your calendar. Professionals often schedule appointments and meetings in their calendar before prioritizing the day's events. Ms. Gitles recommends executives sit down with their calendar at the beginning or the end of each day.

"It is a task that is incredibly beneficial," she says. "It doesn't take that long to do."

Allot a certain time each day to review each day's activities. Mark the time as an event on the calendar to avoid overlooking it.

2. Write down the essentials. Successful executives write down the crucial information to avoid wasting time sifting through old emails. If you have a call with an individual, mark down the person's name, number and any other information. Writing down the information upfront will save time and eliminate unnecessary stress.

3. Focus on the task at hand. Ms. Gitles recommends scheduling all relevant tasks in a certain time slot. For instance, schedule all of your telephone calls in a certain time block and allot a different time to answer emails. Although this tactic may not be feasible every day, focusing on one set of tasks at a time rather than jumping around can prove beneficial.  Executives should be open about their schedules to ensure they can complete tasks in an efficient manner.

"When you are planning and organizing your day, let people in the office know," Ms. Gitles says. "Set aside a block of uninterrupted time and let people know that."
 
4. Commit to the task at hand. With never-ending to-do lists piling up, everyone would like to believe they are excellent at multitasking. However, this is not usually the case.  Ms. Gitles recommends committing to one task to ensure you are performing the task to the best of your ability. "If you are answering phones, don't keep checking emails," she explains. "Every rule has its exceptions. For the most part, focus on the task at hand."

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