Carve out portions of your day for email, leaving the rest for larger projects that will have a lasting impact.
Let Your Calendar Work for You
Schedule project time on your calendar, so you see where to allot chunks of time during the day to specific tasks.
Reallocate Your Time
Assess the day ahead and allot time to each activity when you know you will be at your best. For example, if you are at your best in the morning, work on project proposals, communication plans, and checklists when you first arrive at work. Phone calls and check-ups with colleagues should be moved toward the end of the day when you have less acuity.
Be More Strategic
Do you really need to attend every meeting or can someone else go in your place and report back? Do you need to focus on a larger project that will reap greater rewards instead of more minute tasks?
Winter Organization Checklist
By using the holiday time to be proactive, you can set yourself up for success later in the year.
Update Your Calendar and Your Coworkers’ Calendars
Events do not happen overnight. Take the time at the start of the semester to map your deadlines, so you will stay on track. No detail is too small!
In cases involving others in your department or across campus, send an email to the relevant players informing them of the deadlines. Early communication is key to preventing future emergencies.
Update Your Contact List
It’s easy to let your contact list slide out of date, but it is one of your most important tools. Set aside small bits of time throughout the week to purge, update, and create contacts.
Clean Up Your Folders
We’re all guilty of saving multiple versions of one document, but do you really need every version now that the event is over? Before you start adding to the pile, whether on your desk or desktop, look at what you have—and keep only what’s necessary.
Clean out your physical files and store records of older events in another location to make room for the next batch. As you go through your folders as part of this cleanup process, review your notes to find ways of improving your event planning!
Summer Organization Checklist
A summer project list to keep you on track and prepared for whatever the next academic calendar holds.
Complete Post-Event Evaluations
If you haven’t already done so, develop post-event evaluations for this semester’s events and document any pertinent information in online documents/folders for access next year.
Inventory Your Supplies
Assess your supply closet items, discarding old supplies and developing a list of items needed. Stock up on any items that you use frequently. If done early in May, there’s a possibility some of the items could be purchased with end-of-the-year funds, if your department is eligible.
Organize Old Event Files
If an event occurred in 2008, does it still need prime-time real estate in your office? Can a few programs be saved and others recycled? For events two years out, we keep everything; those after two years we begin to purge and keep only the most pertinent information (scripts, programs, invitations, videos, etc.).
Develop Production Schedules/Timelines for Upcoming Projects
It’s never too early to begin thinking of future projects. If you’re like us, once you start brainstorming, you’ll think of many new ideas that require additional coordination time. By planning early and setting timelines, you can ensure those new aspects will come to fruition in the next academic year.
Develop an End-of-the-Year Report
Trying to develop your goals for next year, but forgot about all the amazing things you did in the fall? Or, trying to think about how many people attended your event to demonstrate the return on investment? Get in the habit of producing an end-of-the-year report to document your progress and also aid in career development as you set out to accomplish new tasks. End-of-the-year reports are also beneficial when discussing your achievements with your supervisor during your annual review.
Research Additional Professional Development Opportunities
Speaking of career development, take this time to research new professional organizations, conferences, or workshops you’d like to attend. Then, have a discussion with your supervisor about participating in a few next year.