I am working as an admin assistant in sub HR Unit in an organization (employee Services Unit)which has many branches. my department has alomost 230 staff , I have to answer their phone calls,asssist them personally when they apporach me in my office, reply their emails, collect their sick leaves, attendance Forms, Training forms, Leave Forms, performance appraisals, managing papers of the selected candidates, taking photocopies beside doing the tasks requested from my manager, I have only 1 colleauge to work with me. My question is that i get distracted alot because of the loaded tasks and doing more than 1 task in 1 time , the result is:
1. Many missing papers.
2. Many undone tasks because i forget them
3. I get distracted when more than 1 person asks me for a thing.
4. Many papers clutter on my desk
5. I dont have time to do the filing and all the papers kept without filing.
can you please help me in organizing my work or send me any format for follow up and reminder, give me any ideas that help me sort my work. I will apprciate your replies.
From United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi
PROFESSIONALS AND BUSINESSES PARTICIPATING IN DISCUSSION
Vice President - Hr/hcm/people Success
Hr & Training Manager
Have them on your calendar or use outlook to remind you.
Have a diary, note down all tasks and update on daily basis. Incompleted tasks to be carried forward for the next day.
For more info write back to
You have correctly identified the source of your problem, and that's a good sign. As someone who has struggled with a similar problem, I hope the following steps work for you:
1. Set aside a block of time everyday when you CANNOT be disturbed. If your manager can help you schedule this at the beginning or end of each day, nothing like it. Else consider coming in 30 mins early, or leaving 30 mins after working hours, or keeping your door closed, or just missing from your desk at lunch time every day! Use this time to plan your day- work that needs to be done immediately, and tasks that are important but not urgent. Check if you have the necessary inputs for each task, else send out mails/ set up reminders to collect the necessary details. Do all your planning in this time.
2. Use your Outlook calendar wisely. Set 30-min tasks on it, 1 or two each day. Aim to complete those- if you get more done, reward yourself, but don't let the most critical task slip.
3. Organize your workspace. I do not know about your filing methods, but set up an Inbox & Outbox for all your papers. Everything goes into one of these, or it gets shredded. Once a day pick up everything that needs to be filed, and put them away. Twice a day review the items in your inbox and process them, so you don't miss out on important updates.
4. Organize the requests/ complaints that come to you. Check if your manager can schedule a block of time- say 4 hrs every afternoon- to respond to employee queries. Else print out a simple form- name, emp ID, complaint- and ask them to leave it in a separate tray. Review and respond to each at one time in a day- and let the employees know when they can expect a response (within 24 hrs?). Ask them to mail you their queries as much as possible- its easier to track your responses and copy-paste responses to similar queries.
5. On your desk, leave out a copy of the employment policy manual, leave policy, etc. Anyone asking routine queries can read through those right there.
6. For issues that you need to check with others, write them down on a notepad, and check all queries at one time. Again, once a day should work fine, depending on the numbers. Have all facts at your fingertips before you check.
7. Attendance Forms, Training forms, Leave Forms, performance appraisals- If you're walking around collecting these, do it once a day and drop them in your inbox for processing in your 'planning time'. If they're dropped off at your desk, ask for a drop box or ask employees to drop them in one tray.
8. The simple rule is to do similar activities together- if you're processing papers, all the paper work gets done at the same time. If you're doing data entry, all the data gets entered at that time. Keep your desk clean- ask for more storage or workspace if it is warranted. Ask your colleague if she can split tasks with you- she does all the data while you do all the files, or something.
9. Learn to be more assertive. A part of your problem is your perceived lack of control over your work, so learn to ask with a smile.
10. For tasks that need to get done later in the week/month/year, set up reminders in your calendar. I used to highlight the relieving dates for employees in red, in my desk calendar. Joining dates were green, training dates were blue..... You can use your desk calendar or outlook, or a diary for this purpose.
11. Get an address book, to store numbers, visiting cards. Put up a print out of the extn nos you frequently use.
12. Lost stationery still frustrates me. I use a stationery box, but unless I'm vigilant the pens and staplers are always missing. Your suggestions?
From India, Madras
Sreeee_HROh- for interrupting calls, inform your managers that you’re offline, and simply take your phone off the hook. You can get away with 15-min offlines 2 or 3 times a day!
From India, Madras
Good that you have come with the disturbed aspects of yours. Again what Sreeee_HR have stated is purely wise. With that what I can suggest is to come out of the fear and just schedule up properly.
If you not much with the outlook then you shall have an organizer for a start and you may schedule up the pending things.. Atleast spend 10 mins at the end of the day to write a report to yourself. This would really help you in standardization. Relax and do anything. Tension & nervousness would never ever allow you to work in peace and comfortable.
Just start of with these points in a span of one month you will surely see a difference and then move up slowly and accordingly.
use the help of many reminders and schedulers for channeling, documenting, reminding, tasking, etc of your work task and schedule....
anyway All the Best!
From India, Bangalore
Sreeee_HRChecklists work well too, especially if your work consists of little steps that you're likely to miss. I set up checklists for joining formalities, joining documents, files, appraisal process, relieving, on rolls conversion, and visa processing.
I'm afraid the response it too long, but I just had to share my experience. Trust me, with a little planning, you can get on top of your work.
From India, Madras
mnsvasanI just saw your post and the responses from other members.
Getting things organized and working efficiently in an environment like yours is really challenging. I guess that there are many senior members in the community who have worked in much more demanding conditions and developed skills and techniques to adopt and manage. I wish many such persons come up and reply. Sharing their wisdom would help many junior members in their work and life too.
I think I have been greatly benefited in handling similar situation by the following resources:
1. Book “Getting things done” author :David Allen. This book has been a great help in practice.
2. I use an application Evernote. This helps me in keeping track of things present, past and future. It is available in the internet, there is a free version also, which we can download on desktop and also upload our data so that we can use on the web also, if necessary. I find this application very useful. You may try it out.
From India, Madras