Friday, 15 December 2017

Start Now and Make 2018 The Year of Hassle-Free Organisation

Image of Sheldon Korpet
Sheldon Korpet
Information Officer
I often want to try something new at work to see if I can improve on my previous efforts. However, the more routine (required) demands are always compete for my time too 😒 Sound familiar?

Whether you’re a super busy student or a new professional, keep reading to learn a new way to organise your work tasks and make focused progress 👍

You Can't Do Everything at Once

At the start of the year I ran a “goodie bag promo” project and as a result our small library is getting more footfall, more inquiries and more complex questions, which is really nice to see. However, it does mean further time constraints.

I got sick of 'To Do' lists   mine always looked messy or I lost them or had seven going at once so I inevitably forgot things they were meant to remind me to do! 🙅📝

One of the things that has enabled me to up my capacity, without forgetting any important things, was starting to use a Personal Kanban board.

What is Kanban?

I first heard of this method through my Business Management degree. It's a system which aims to keep tasks moving through the workflow and I’ve adapted it slightly to fit with the re-occurring, never-ending tasks.

This is All Fabulous But How Does It Work?

Tasks are assigned to four categories and as you progress you can move them closer to competition:
1 Could do/ should do – this is where you store ideas, work tasks assigned, upcoming projects or things you’re putting off. You haven’t started these yet but you might in the future.
2 Doing – These are your current tasks for the day/week. Do not put more than three things in here to stay productive! You could also assign yourself a deadline for these tasks.
3 Ongoing - This is where I store all those never ending tasks like asking people to renew their books. For a student this might be "Weekly reading for HAR679". I can move it in to “Doing” so I know what I’m focusing on and this is also an area to store projects which you've had to put on hold while waiting on a response from someone else.
4 Done – this is without a doubt the best bit on the board for me. When it’s blank it motivates me to work hard and complete something so I can start to fill it. When it’s full I can bask in my own glory 👸

For this project you're going to need a template and some small sticky notes

Personal Kanban in the Library

As you can see, I’ve gone for an A4 piece of paper with sticky notes but you could use larger paper or create a digital version in Trello or Padlet which would let you access it anywhere. However, I leave this at my enquiry desk  and I get some level of satisfaction from physically moving the post-its.

Either way, it’s a great method to track your progress and hold yourself accountable to get projects finished in good time; instead of taking on about ten things at once:

☑️ Stay focused 
☑️ Make progress 
☑️ Reducing the risk of non-completion

Having project ideas or tasks recorded in “Could do/should do” but not rushing in to them also has the added benefit of giving time for you to reflect. This might be on what would be the best way to go about them or helping you realise if it’s even necessary to spend your time on this.

You Can Do It

The great thing about this method is that it’s cheap and easy. There’s nothing worse than procrastinating and wasting time getting organised – you can make your own template in a few minutes or download the one I made here.

If you give it a shot, I’d love to know! Feel free to tweet me a photo or let me know if you found it useful @SheldonKorpet