Running a front desk comes with more hurdles than people assume. All at once, the phones are going crazy, people are lining up with questions, someone’s mad, another guy’s lost, and someone else is telling you their life story. (Not interested, buddy!!) At times, you may feel like you’re babysitting grown professionals (seriously, the only difference is you don’t have to change diapers). And, of course, among the chaos, you can’t forget to smile!
It’s okay. I’m here for you.
The key to it all is learning how to be organized. I can’t speed up Gerald’s life story for you, but I CAN help ease the stress of all the other stuff.
Keep everything clean.
Your voicemail box should always be empty. If you answer every phone call and listen to messages every morning, it shouldn’t be too hard to maintain.
2. Follow the inbox zero rule.
The inbox zero rule is simply that at the end of the day, there should be nothing in your inbox. A few tips to help maintain this:
3. Throw out the unnecessary items on your desk.
People think life is stressful, but really, it’s just messy. However, don't be too hard on yourself. If you hesitate to throw something out, keep it! You can always get back to it later. The goal is simply to clean as much as you can.
4. Throw out the unnecessary items on your computer.
Clean out your computer the same way you clean your desk; if you don’t need it, toss it. Try to minimize the amount of clutter on your desktop as much as possible.
It may take several days to clear everything out, but once everything is clean, I promise it will make your life a lot easier. Plus, having a clean space will set you up for the next step.
Create a system.
My main organizational tools:
If your day-to-day consists of tasks, reminders, and a schedule, you don’t need much else.
Let’s break this down and get more detailed.
There are different types of tasks. (Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, urgent, not urgent, etc.) The trick is to find the most efficient way to organize these in your schedule.
I use Google Keep checklists for all of my recurring tasks, and each list is specific for the time of the day/week/month/year.
For example, I have a morning routine every day from 8:30 - 12. That’s the time I set aside every day to go down my morning checklist one by one. The same goes for my afternoon routine from 1 - 2, and my closing routine from 4:30 - 5:30.
2. Weekly tasks.
Weekly tasks can be tricky because they're more likely to slip your mind.
In addition to my checklist, I also set recurring tasks on my Google Calendar for specific days. That way, I don't have to worry about it.
3. Random tasks.
You may get some random requests from clients, coworkers, or managers. For example, I'm asked to send someone a document or follow up with someone after a conversation - I add these tasks to my Google Calendar.
I try to prioritize tasks that need to be done for other people, so I want to keep them at the front of my mind. Saving them at the top of my schedule helps me get it done ASAP.
Ultimately, you want to create a system that works for your tasks and your schedule. At the end of the day, you know the hurdles you face better than anyone else. I would encourage you to challenge yourself in finding a system you see to be fit, but if your priority is to simplify everything, I'm sure you'll get there quickly. Besides, I think it's kind of fun. ;)