Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Organization is Key

Organization becomes key when you start working in the “real world”. There are emails, messages, verbal tasks and many other ways information is being passed. To avoid forgetting or missing a task, you need to make sure you are keeping organized. Here is how I carry on my days and keep everything well ordered.

I begin my day by sorting my emails. I flag the emails that require an actionable item from me. I reply immediately to any emails that are urgent. Similarly, I check any messages I may have and reply right away. Depending on the day, I have weekly deliverables that are usually due in the morning. Once I have sorted through all these, my manager visits and gives me any tasks that come to mind.

From here I create a to-do list. I arrange the most time-sensitive items towards the top and the least at the bottom. I also label the due dates to all the tasks in red. As I complete tasks, I cross them off. I keep track of all the projects I finish, are ongoing and are remaining to do. I report these things to my manager every week.

Throughout the day, I usually get more things that my team wants me to help with. It is important to be able to manage your time and complete tasks according to how urgent they are. A big technique that has helped is taking notes. Many times your manager or someone on your team will show you how to do something. Taking notes will help you make sure that they do not need to teach you again, in the case that they ask you to do it again. You can even be proactive and ask to try it on your own next time!

The organization does not stop there. You need to make sure you are following up with your calendar. Throughout the day, I plan meetings and attend the ones I have scheduled on time. You also need to be checking your email from time to time and make sure you have not missed any important information.