Almost every job description has it, “Must be able to work in a fast paced environment” and if the description doesn’t, it means it’s implied. Across industries productivity is highly valued by every company. Employers want the work done well and fast. After all, productivity is a main component to success. Having to work in a fast paced environment should just be expected no matter where you work, but how can you be sure to keep working at the right pace and not get left behind in the dust? Here are 4 tips you need to handle staying on track.
Tip 1: Be a stickler for time-management
The best way to manage your time is to start with a plan. Outline your day and your entire week. When you have a game plan it’s easier to start making your plays. The tricky part is making a good plan. You want to start by making a list of all of your tasks, then prioritize what tasks should be done first, and give yourself time limits on how long the task should take you to finish. You learn to focus and be productive when you race against the clock. Just be sure the time you a lot yourself is reasonable to complete a task. The goal isn’t to finish as fast as possible and let the quality of your work suffer, just to keep focused and get things done correctly. It may take a few extra minutes to make an organized and detailed plan but it’s worth it. You don’t want to finish one task and then twiddle your thumbs as you try to figure out what to work on next.
Bonus Tip: Schedule your harder tasks at the beginning of your day when you are most productive. Putting off bigger and harder tasks runs the risk of procrastinating and putting it off to the next day.
Tip 2: Organization is your best friend
As easy and simple as this tip sounds it’s actually harder said than done to keep organized. It’s way too easy to let an email go unfiled or a document not properly named because you can do it later. Well 99% of the time that ‘later’ becomes a never so always stay organized. To do so, filing is key. Always file your email. Yes, it’s tedious but keep doing it and you’ll get into habit. Important conversations between you and your boss or between you and clients happen over email so make it easy on yourself later when you have to refer back to an email to organize them into appropriate folders. Try filing your email by project or by who you are conversing with. If an email isn’t important delete it. Leaving messages in your inbox is unnecessary clutter and nobody needs that.
You’ll want to do the same for your documents. Create different folders with labels that will make sense to you later. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to look for a file you worked on a month ago but can’t remember what it was labeled. Save yourself the grief and be thoughtful about your labels and where you file them. Add dates to your file names for extra credit.
Tip 3: Be a rubber band, be flexible
Whichever way you get stretched, don’t snap. Things never go as planned so be flexible and roll with it. Even if you have planned your day down to when you are going to take bathroom breaks something is bound to pop up and blow your schedule out of the water. The trick is to adapt fast, shuffle things around in your plan, and get a move on. Dwelling and stressing over how much you have to get done isn’t helping anyone and only hinders your motivation and wastes your time, so sit down and go get em tiger.
Tip 4: Stay calm and carry on
Probably the most important tip for you is to take a deep breath. Maybe you’re not used to working at such a fast pace, that’s ok. It takes time to get into the rhythm of your company. By following these tips you’ll start to get into rhythm sooner rather than later. Good luck.