When my husband started picking up clientele for the marketing and web-design arm of The Schlott Co., it was evident he all to much understood the stress and weight I carried through the work day. How to meet deadlines, how to maintain sanity while being pulled in multiple directions, how to manage working with others - nicely, and how to let it go when family and kids took center stage.
It can overwhelm us. We can feel disjointed from our goals and feel unorganized in how to approach our objectives. We see a mountain of things that must be accomplished in order to meet the deadlines, with only 10% of those tasks being recognized or appreciated by those of whom we are meeting said deadlines.
Over my career I have been involved in Jurassic business model changes that brought with them over the moon expectations and extreme deadline time frames. I learned to work through the chaos by adopting the following.
Organize your workspace
Keep your work space clear of clutter. Even my super comfy and relaxed husband benefits from a clean desk. When work starts to pile up on our desks, it starts to pile up in our minds as well. Keeping a tidy work space not only de-clutters our desk for work space, but also clears up some mind share to tackle our tasks. OfficeMax put out a report last year that found that along with productivity and motivation, happiness, confidence and stress levels are all heavily impacted by a disorganized work space.
Keep the Bad Energy Out. Nine in ten (90%) Americans admit that unorganized clutter at home or at work has a negative impact on their life. Their productivity (77%), state of mind (65%), motivation (53%) and happiness (40%) are affected when there is disorder.
Positivity Reigns. when all their belongings have their place, Americans feel good about themselves. Close to three quarters (71%) feel accomplished when they organize their work space, while others are in control (68%), confident (54%), motivated (52%), and relaxed (43%).
Organize your deliverable
Keep it simple. Try to orbit earth first, then shoot for the moon later.
I have a tendency to overreach. Always have. When I tackle a project I aim to over deliver and create a finished product that is not only beneficial to the company and person requesting the project, but also beneficial to those using the finished product. I aim to design for the company, end user and the creator in mind. Many times this results in stretching my current skill set to deliver and I can at times get caught in the weeds to produce within the deadline. If you enjoy your job or want to find deeper satisfaction in your job, you mostly likely do the same.
What I've learned since, is that while I can and should continue to design in this manner, I can cut the end product into smaller and more realistic deliverables and phases. Phase I, keep things simple. First and foremost cover the initial request within the given deadline. You can always expand later.
Organize deadlines and timeframes
When we began quoting new clients for the Schlott Co, we wanted to deliver everything the next day to not only make an impression but continue gaining momentum. But when we pile all deliverables into the same deadlines we become overwhelmed and our work can suffer. We can also unintentionally miss deadlines. I did the same thing at the office. Something always comes up either within the scope of the project or additional deliverables from senior management, that tend to send a wrench in even the most realistic timeframes and we miss our deadlines. Instead of trying to impress with quoted timeframe, we should set realistic timeframes, add in some buffer for those last min items that pop up, and then aim to impress instead with the quality of product delivered.
For more productivity tips from a multi-billion dollar corporation, read here.