How-To: Take Control of Your Office Scheduling

It can happen to the best of us. Maybe it was the holiday season, or the dog days of summer. Maybe there was a rash of employee absences. Whatever the reason, the office schedule has slipped off track. Possibly that was acceptable for a while, but now it is threatening to careen off the side of a mountain to a fiery demise two hundred feet below. You have to get your office schedule under control, but you feel as though it may be too far gone. Perish the thought!


It is never too late. It will take some hard work, cooperation, and determination, but you can have the well oiled office machine you once had. The tools are right here. All you have to do is put them to use. Here are some things you can do to get things started today.


Start With Your Desk


One of the things you may have noticed slipping under the radar is your own backlog of to do items. If this is the case, then you need to start with yourself and your own desk. Start clearing out all of the things that you have been putting off for one reason or another. This serves a dual purpose. For one, it is much easier to get organized and start a new plan if you take care of yesterday’s garbage. That means taking a look at every sheet of paper in your inbox and cluttering your desk and getting rid of it one way or another. And no, this doesn’t mean just slipping it into a bottom drawer. If there are things that need to be done, now is the time to do them. Secondly, producing a clear desk gives you a clear head and helps your office start to get back on schedule. Most likely, your delays in getting things done has put someone else behind schedule as well.


Create a Resource Folder


You can do this not only on your computer, but encourage your employees to do the same on theirs. A resource folder is something that you set up that you keep all your important resources within (who would have guessed!). You can even go beyond making a simple folder, and create folders within that. Then you can really get down to the nitty gritty. Separate your documents, internet bookmarks, and programs according to your needs. You can also save articles and interesting pages you come across on the web or through email in one of those folders. This way when you want to share it with someone else (as you inevitably will), you won’t have to spend half your morning trying to find it again.


Do not overlook the power of creating a folder like this in the real world, either. Computers are great, but sometimes you come across resources and files that aren’t electronic. This is why it’s great to duplicate your resource folder with the real thing. Smead and Universal both make quality folders that can be used for just such a purpose. If you come across magazine articles or newspapers clippings you want to save, this is the place to do it. This would also be a great place to store memorandums you’ve sent out or received about company policies.


Schedule Weekly Efficiency Meetings


No one likes to go to boring meetings, this is for certain. But if you can make your employees understand the importance of staying on a schedule, perhaps they will come to the meetings with ideas under their belts, ready to help out. If you notice that certain employees don’t like to participate, then you know which ones to keep a close eye on when it comes to keeping on schedule and increasing productivity. It might be time to trim some of the fat.


Enact Some Customer Relations


In the time that your office schedule has begun slipping, so might have your contact with your most important asset: your clients and customers. Take the time to give a shout to all of your important customers and make sure they still know you’re around and still appreciate your business. Find some nice, but inexpensive trinket or token of appreciation to send to all of them. The important thing is just to keep your business in their minds. The next time they need a product or service that you sell, they’ll be sure to come back around rather than go to the competition.




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