The world is constantly developing and advancing. Our phones listen to us and plan out our lives, our cars are learning to drive on their own, face identification technology lets us skip TSA lines, and so much more. The workplace especially has become a place in which technology works to make our 9-5 days go by smoother, and with less physical work on our end. Office spaces are constantly changing to keep up with the times, and competitors. However, a lot of old-school workplace methods and techniques have held up as the years have gone on. The use of physical planners, calendars, business cards, etc. all have maintained their use in office spaces. Whether it be because of a more traditional administration, personal choice, or simply maintaining the “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” mentality, conventional office tools are thriving in an otherwise digitized world.
Sticking to more common workplace organization techniques has been said to keep individuals more organized and focused, according to Fast Company Business Magazine. While some methods may be more laborious than simply typing in an appointment to your e-calendar, taking the extra steps works with your brain to remember important details, times, clients, etc, through the physical work.
Taking handwritten notes, and organizing your day on paper is a widely popular method to remain organized. Before your day is over, instead of quickly trying to get as much work as possible done so you have an easier load for tomorrow, reflect on what you’ve accomplished for the day. Write out what tasks took you how long, and then begin to think about what you’ll need to do for tomorrow. If you know you’ll have to make an important phone call, send an email, meet with an individual, work on a specific piece of a project, etc. block out a good chunk of time in a physical calendar. Then, make a list of the other things that you NEED to get done, and a list of things that aren’t as urgent, but would be beneficial to work on if time allows. Having your daily goals and work written out in front of you in a scheduled fashion can help ease any overwhelming anxieties. In addition, writing them down will trigger a muscle memory response, meaning it’s less likely you’ll forget any of your daily work requirements.
Another traditional tip that is beneficial is picking up the phone and calling an individual as opposed to emailing them back and forth. While emails are quick, and easier than talking on the phone, hearing your voice personally will tell the client, or whoever you’re on the phone with, that you care about the project you’re working on. With emailing there’s no guarantee as to when the recipient will respond, if they’ll answer all questions that warrant responses, and in general is way less personal. On the phone, you can guarantee you’ll get any answers you need; an additional tip would be to write down all the things you need clarified before getting on the phone to make sure you don’t miss anything. In the same way that you would want to call a job that you’re interested in acquiring to show the higher ups that you mean business, you should call office contacts for the same effect.
Business cards may seem like an outdated form of exchanging contact information, especially with how easy it is to exchange digital information, however, there’s a certain level of professionalism that comes with a business card. Cards can be so much more personable and the interaction between you and the recipient of the card will be more memorable as opposed to just emailing someone all your contact information.
Abigail Cook Stone, the CEO of Otherland, a very well known candle company, spoke to Fast Company Magazine about why having a business card is a necessity for her employees. “For creative, design-forward professionals, especially, it’s worth going the extra mile with a clever, memorable design that speaks to their company’s product or services and showcases their brand’s personality.”
Fast Company Magazine also emphasized how writing thank you cards to clients and holding technology free meetings can also lead to a more personal and engaging work environment for employees, administrators, and clients/third-parties that a company might be working for certain projects. Writing handwritten thank you notes is such a rarity in the world of emails, social media posts, and text messaging. So when working with third-party sources or clients or anyone else who’s providing you and your business a beneficial service that would require a response, writing a thank you card will show those people how appreciative you really are. It’s more likely that the positive impact of the personal gesture will help maintain those contacts for the future.
Technology free meetings have become much more popular over the years. While many individuals like using their laptops and phones to take notes, remember discussion points, etc. holding a meeting where only a pen and paper is allowed will, like the thank you cards, allow for a more personal experience for everyone. This way the meetings are all discussion based, and everyone involved can feel included in the conversation, and not be hidden behind a screen.
Lindsay McCormick, CEO of Bite Toothpaste Bits, told Fast Company why she loves having technology free meetings. “If you’re in a meeting, it’s because your input is vital. The fastest way to get things done is for everyone in the room to give their complete focus and attention. Plus, it can have added benefits. It helps our team bond because moments of downtime don’t end up with everyone grabbing their phones and instead leads to people chatting and catching up.”
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.