We all face the challenge of keeping things orderly and well run, but office chaos can creep in unexpectedly and cause loss of profit for your business and high staff turnover. If no one knows where documents are, or what is expected, it turns into hours of wasted time and efforts. Learn a few ways to try and cut down on the chaos when it seems to be running your office.
Have a set schedule - Set up a set schedule for certain things to be done. For example, schedules for taking care of tasks and needs. For example, set a certain day each week things for the office will be ordered, or Costco runs will be made. Or if a task comes in that you know will take a certain amount of time to complete, schedule that time out on your calendar. If it takes longer than one hour, break it out into multiple sessions to complete the task. If you are having a meetings, be sure to start and end on time and have an agenda. Don’t book meetings needlessly or too often. Be intentional about the meetings you attend and that will contribute you getting tasks done. Stick to the schedule and be consistent.
Prioritize your email – Most people are bombarded with emails. Help employees to sort their email into categories, and to utilize prioritizing tools built into their inbox. Set up folders such as- To Do Today, Follow up by Friday, or rules for flags to be set whenever a certain client reaches out. Cutting down on email clutter is just as useful as cutting back on budgets. Time is money, so use your time well. Send Messages or replies to only those who NEED the email. Do NOT hit reply all if not necessary. Emails that come in, should be organized and reviewed by the end of each day and time should be taken to review, delete, or respond to them. Don’t let your inbox build up.
Set outlined expectations - Great office administration relies on upon individuals knowing who is responsible for what. Setting expectations requires both short- and long-term thinking— who will be responsible for what, what are anticipated needs that come with these expectations. If multiple things need to get done, ask to what level of quality, time and at what cost? Which task is priority over the others? Use the answers to the questions to prioritize and set expectations from employees.
Define Roles - Along the same lines of setting expectations, employees should have clearly defined roles. They should know what is expected from them in their day to day work. Employees who have clearly defined roles will be able complete tasks at hand and produce higher results, which in turns results in higher business profits and productivity.
Learn to delegate – Try and stress less with the opportunity of delegating to those you trust to get the job done. This process is a way to take some of the “high” priority tasks off your list. The feeling of marking things off the list can be truly gratifying but feeling like you have to do everything yourself can be overwhelming. We can’t do it all, let alone in one day. Tackle tasks in small measures and save yourself from the frustrations.
Keep records – Keeping records sounds like a no brainer of good office management – until you consider the time it takes to keep those records up to date and accurate. Even if that is the case, having up to date and accurate records will pay off in the long run. You will be able to reference data quicker and be more reliable for questions that may come up. Make upgrading records a priority on the office schedule. When you get another client or customer, for example, take a few minutes to enter them into your systems. At that point it will just take another minute or two to upgrade the record if anything changes.