A work day consists of filing, answering phones, greeting visitors, and a host of communication efforts with coworkers, supervisors, and customers, plus other duties and responsibilities that can get overwhelming. When we get distracted, it becomes easy to miss things. Here are a few tips to avoid missing items so that we are not misrepresented.
1. Miscommunication - Communicate effectively
Nine-tenths of the serious controversies which arise in life result from misunderstanding. Miscommunication consists of giving the wrong impression, not fully disclosing details, or not providing information at all. This is a common problem in the workplace and can create longterm problems. The best way to combat miscommunication is:
• Provide as much information as possible
• Make sure that you are understood
• Listen for feedback
• Look at non-verbal cues to ensure comprehension. For example, if you are speaking to someone and their eyes become widened, ask if they have any questions about what was discussed. This could mean that they are shocked, surprised, or confused. When there is a communication breakdown, address the issue immediately. This will eliminate problems later.
2. Misfiled - Get organized
Statistics show that we will touch the same piece of paper at least 21 times in a day. The best way to get organized is to start with your desk. How many piles of paper do you have on your desk that needs to be filed away? How many times do you search through those piles in an attempt to look for a document that isn’t there? Schedule time in the day to file documents or keep a pile of “frequently referred to” files on your desk for easy access.
3. Misplaced – Develop a system
Whether you are looking for a paper document or searching for an electronic file, developing an effective system will increase productivity and efficiency.
• Paper Documents
Use the color coded system for filing (ie. finances are green, vendor files are yellow, meetings are blue, etc.). Not only will this filing method allow you to locate files easily, it will be simple to file items away later, especially if the file drawer has multiple files. In any filing system, be sure to adhere to point #2 about getting organized and filing documents immediately so that your piles don’t grow piles!
• Electronic Files
Decide what needs to be retained and what can be deleted. Then determine what electronic file folder will store the document. If you are submitting a draft of a document to someone else for review or proofreading, include the file name and path at the bottom of the document so that it can be easily found at a later time. Another tip is to create a folder on the desktop entitled, “Today,” and all items worked on that day can be placed until they are finalized and can be stored in its respective folder. Be sure to delete it from the “Today” folder to eliminate duplicate documents.
You will spend most of your time in the workplace, practice effective communication, organization skills to empower you to be a productive employee.