There are those tasks you do every day to be more productive and efficient in your work. Then there are those tasks that you put off because they feel less important or critical to meeting deadlines.
The problem is that these “less important” tasks often help your productivity, efficiency and will save you time later. They help with networking and moving your career forward. They may be little tasks, but they add up to quite a lot.
While you don’t have time do perform these less essential tasks every day, you 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.
It’s important to remember these quarterly office tasks have just as much value while working from home.
Declutter your desk
While “a messy desk indicates an unorganised mind” is not necessarily accurate, it is correct that an overcrowded desk makes it hard for you to find anything. It’s especially hard to work at a desk covered with all the things a home desk is generally covered with. A cluttered desk can even have negative effects on our stress and anxiety levels.
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 documents that need updating or paperwork that’s 15 years old. Most likely, there are a bunch of items that can be recycled. Clear the clutter and only keep what is essential to your day-to-day work.
Get your filing done
Filing seems to be one of the most universally unloved tasks. It always takes longer than necessary, and it’s not essential to anything you need to do in a day. That is until you need to find a document and spend 3 hours digging through the piles of paper gathering dust around you.
Depending on 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.
Sort out your storage
It’s nearly impossible to declutter your desk and get organised if you don’t have storage options. Where will you put your sticky notes, pens, paper, folders, business cards, paperclips, documents, and other supplies?
Consider purchasing a filing cabinet, bookshelf or shelving of some kind to store all the items in your office. While you may be thinking “I don’t need a filing cabinet”, I challenge you to look at the mess your home office may have been before you started working from home. If you needed a storage solution before working from home, you need one now.
If you know for sure that you won’t need storage solutions long term, see what you can borrow from others. Alternatively, make storage from items you already have at home. Empty glass jar? Now it’s a pen holder. Get a little inventive if you need to, you may be surprised by what you already own.
Digitise your business cards
If you’ve been networking, you’ve been 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 keep you connected, 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 email newsletters
When coronavirus hit, guaranteed you got inundated with emails from companies you hadn’t heard from in 5-8 years. You had no idea so many people still had your details on file! While your gut reaction is to delete and move on, now is the perfect opportunity to unsubscribe like it’s one of the tasks your job depends on.
Once you have worked your way through those emails, keep going to the subscriptions emails you get every week but never read. 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 at the moment but will save you the time in the long run.
Alternatively, if they are newsletters you do eventually read, set up rules on your email to filter them 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 through this folder to look for legitimate emails, and delete the rest.
Clear up your computer files and browser history
Clean up your desktop by saving documents into the computer folders where they belong. Update ongoing documents to reflect current details. Empty your computer’s Recycle Bin. Save sites you regularly use 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.
Update your voicemail
If you’re like most people, you probably set up your voicemail the first day you started at your job. Since then your title or department may have changed. Take a listen to your current voicemail and decide if it needs to be updated. It could maybe even use a more confident tone of voice.
If you didn’t update your voicemail when you moved from the office to working from home, it will definitely need an update. Check-in with IT to find out how you can do this remotely. While you’re at it, make sure your desk phone has been forwarded to a number you can be reached at now.
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 an excellent 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.
Treat your team
No one receives thanks enough for the work they do. If delivery services are still running in your area you have the option to surprise them. Treat your team to doughnuts and coffee after a big project has ended, or just to say that you appreciate everything they have been doing. 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 sending them an IOU for lunch to say thank you, or order them in a meal from their favourite restaurant. They have gone out of their way to assist you while still doing all their own work. Show your appreciation.
Volunteer virtually for an upcoming work event
Volunteering has changed in the last couple of months, but you still have an opportunity to do so virtually. Find a virtual event that catches your attention, and volunteer to assist. It can be a charity event, fundraiser, office party, virtual job fair or trade show.
Don’t think of volunteering as one of those tasks to be ticked off your to-do list. It is more than that. 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.
Keep track of your accomplishments for performance review
Whether you have annual performance reviews or quarterly reviews, keep track of your achievements through the year. Keep a running document that you can update as you go.
Track the goals set for you 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.
Review your schedule 2 to 3 months out
Right now, we have no idea what tomorrow will look like, but we do know that reoccurring tasks will still come around. It never hurts to get prepared.
Start thinking about the reoccurring events and deadlines you have coming up. Set reminders for renewing annual software subscriptions and block off time to work on monthly expenses. Some of this may trigger other ideas to work on – make a to-do list to work through after your quarterly office tasks get done.
Touch base with your recruiter
Stay in contact with your recruiter even when you are happy in your current role. You never know when a situation may change, and you will need their assistance again. A quick call or a comment on their social media posts will generally suffice. These small tasks help 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.
Is looking for a new job one of your most pressing tasks?
The world has changed; your job situation may have changed too. Our recruiters always love helping qualified candidates move their career forward. Upload your CV, and search our job listings for roles that are relevant to your experience. Connect with us today!