Sometimes it feels like there’s too much work to do and not enough time to get it done. When the pile gets too high, it’s easy to panic, which can slow things down further. Instead, take a step back and think of ways to be more efficient and handle the load better. Building off our prior advice for setting goals and organizing your work space, putting them together can set you on the road to efficient habits. Having the right stock of supplies helps too. Here are two tools to help you get the most out of your time.
Shop ticket holders have been around forever and were designed for warehouses, factories, and other large facilities with a lot of workers constantly on the move. Holders have holes for hanging and sheets can easily be swapped in and out. They also have a hidden feature making them perfect for using at your desk: the vinyl covers work as a dry-erase surface. You can use them to make reusable checklists, to-do lists combining routine tasks with unique jobs, or any assignment where you have to answer the same questions repeatedly. Just insert a sheet with the parts that stick around and write whatever is temporary. You’ll even avoid desk clutter by hanging it on your wall.
We’ve emphasized clearing your desk of all but the daily essentials. You might think shoving off a calculator is a smart move. After all, you’ve got one on your computer and your phone. But if you are regularly playing with numbers, especially outside of spreadsheets, you’ll want to keep it around and it may even stay on your desk. Pulling a calculator app on your computer pulls you away from the window you’re working on and opens another one. Your monitor(s) should be treated like your desk with only the important stuff on it at any given moment. Meanwhile, your phone is a minefield of potential distractions. Keep a desktop calculator within reach, preferably one with nice big buttons like the Victor 1180-3A, so you can make quick calculations without leaving your screen or losing focus.