There are tasks that we do every day to be more productive and efficient in our work. Then there are those tasks that we put off because they feel less important or critical to meeting deadlines. The problem is that these tasks often help your productivity, efficiency and will save you time later on. They help with networking and moving your career forward. They may be little tasks but they add up to a lot.

While we don’t have time do perform these less important tasks every day, we can set aside time to do them at least every quarter. Dedicating just one day every 3-months to catch up on the tasks below will help. Very quickly you will see value in their worth.

Clean your desk

Not only does an overcrowded desk make it hard for you to find anything, but it sends a bad visual impression to the rest of your coworkers. Just as body language is interpreted in a certain way, so is a messy, chaotic desk. It sends the message that you are disorganised, unable to cope with your workload, or simply overwhelmed. None of these are things you want your boss to think – especially when they are not true.

Clear up your paperwork. Organise your files. Wipe down your computer and desk. Clean out old paperwork that you no longer need. Make it shiny! Chances are you will find files that need updating or should be passed on to coworkers. Most likely there are a bunch of items that can be sent to the recycling bin. Clear the clutter and only keep what is important to your day-to-day.

Get your filing done

Filing seems to be a universally unloved task. It always takes longer than necessary, it’s a distraction, and it is really not essential to anything you need to do in a day. That is, until you need to find a file and have to spend 3 hours digging through the piles that have been gathering dust. Depending how often you are accessing files, you may need to file as often as every month, or every week. No matter how often it is, make sure it gets done.

Digitise your business cards

If you are networking, you are collecting business cards. Gone are the days of the rolodex, so your business card pile generally gets bigger and bigger.. Save the details to your phone, email, or sales management software. There are even apps that allow you to take a photo of the business card and will convert it to a digital contact for you. However you choose to get it done, move into the modern age and get them digitised.

Update your professional social media profiles

It’s normal to neglect your professional social media profiles until you need to start looking for a job. Don’t! Your social media profiles help build your network while you are working in your current role and industry. They help you broaden your reach and highlight your knowledge.  It’s also an excellent way to draw attention to your accomplishments.

Do a social media spring clean. Make sure your picture is up to date and professional, your job title is accurate, and that you are actively adding new professional contacts to your network.

Unsubscribe from newsletters

Instead of always deleting those subscriptions emails you get every week but never read, start unsubscribing from them. Every time they come into your inbox, take 30 seconds and hit unsubscribe. If you never read them, why keep receiving them? It seems like a pain in the moment, but will save you the time you spend deleting them.

Alternatively, if they are newsletters you do eventually read, set up rules on your email so they are filtered into a ‘Read Later’ folder instead of clogging up your inbox. Your inbox is crazy enough, help yourself combat email fatigue.

Clear out your Junk Mail folder

Occasionally important emails get filtered into your Junk Mail folder. Go though this folder to look for legitimate emails, and delete the rest.

Treat your team

No one gets thanked enough for the work they do. Treat your team to doughnuts and coffee after a big project has ended, or just to say that you appreciate everything they do for you. You don’t need to be a manager or a boss to show your appreciation; it means just as much coming from a co-worker.

If there is a specific co-worker that when above and beyond to help you, consider taking them out to lunch to say thank you. They have gone out of their way to assist you while still doing all their own work. Show your appreciation for what they did.

Volunteer for an upcoming work event

No matter what event catches your attention, volunteer to help once a year, or every quarter where possible. It can be a charity event, fundraiser, office party, or corporate job fair or trade show. It allows you to get to know your co-workers better, have a voice in your company, and build great work relationships at the same time.

Complete a LinkedIn recommendations

Don’t wait for a request to come your way. If you work with great competent people, show your appreciation by writing then a glowing LinkedIn recommendation. Write recommendations for a boss, co-worker, or anyone else that you would enthusiastically recommend. The upside is that if you provide a great LinkedIn recommendation for them, the chances are high that you will get one in return. It will help you improve your LinkedIn profile and boost your creditability.

Keep track of your accomplishments for performance review

Whether you have annual performance reviews or quarterly reviews, keep track of your accomplishments through the year. Keep a running document that you can update as you go. Track the goals you were set and how you are meeting them. It is much easier to be prepared for a review when you know where you have excelled, and have the details to back yourself up.

Clear up your computer files and browser history

Clean up your desktop by saving documents into the computer files they belong in. Update ongoing documents to reflect current details. Empty your computer’s Recycle Bin. Save sites you use regularly as bookmarks. Clear your browser history and cookies. Run your anti-virus and restart your computer afterwards. All of this increases the safety of your electronic files and online systems access.

Touch base with your recruiter

Stay in contact with your recruiter even when you are happy in your current role. You never know when situations may change and you will need their assistance again. A quick call or a comment on their social media posts will generally suffice. This helps recruiters stay up to date on what you are doing in your role, and it will keep you ‘top of mind’.

Remember that your recruiter is always looking for great people and will be happy to have you recommend top-performers to them.

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