The Organizational Learning Curve


From the first day of my internship, my new work inbox was inundated with emails containing everything from due dates to meetings to client projects. I welcomed this wealth of new material, eager to jump right in and get up-to-speed on everything I would be working on. I was so fixated on the information that I started to lose track of how I was organizing it all.

I am an organized and focused person, and I consider myself a good multitasker. But as someone who is new to this type of work and office environment, I suddenly felt like I was trying to keep track of a million little things all at once. I found myself waiting—nervously—for one of those little things to slip through the cracks, get forgotten, and become a big problem.

I’m sorry to say that moment did eventually come—but I’m happy it did. It forced me to take stock of how I was organizing and what I could do to better. Here are some of the things I’m figuring out along the way:

Learn what works for them

Take note of how the people you work with prefer to communicate and organize. This is tricky as it may vary from person to person and even between different tasks. Does your supervisor prefer a formal email or a quick Slack message? Do they want you to schedule a meeting with them on their Outlook calendar or just swing by their desk to discuss something? Being aware of these nuances can help streamline communication and allow you to be more effective in daily back-and-forth with your bosses and coworkers.

Learn what works for you

planner

Source: The Minimalist Planner

Call it old school, but my preferred way to stay organized will always be analog. I think very spatially, so having a physical planner that allows me to see all the tasks I have for a given week is helpful to me. I also like the act of writing things down—it’s an exercise that helps me remember things. So much of workplace communication is digital, and at first I tried to change my style to fit that. After a couple weeks of trial-and-error, I’m now sticking to the organizational method that works best for me.

 

Kenzie Yoshimura

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2 Responses to The Organizational Learning Curve

  1. Megan Moran says:

    Hi Kenzie,
    I, myself, am old school too. I love my planner. I take it with me everywhere and use it not only for project deadlines, but also personal deadlines as well, (aka gym time, homework time, laundry, etc.) I seriously would be lost without it. That being said, I realize too that not everyone operates the same way I do. I have realized through my internship that everyone in my office likes to use Outlook calendar to schedule meetings, deadlines, etc. So learning how to manage Outlook was definitely something I needed to adapt to, and surprisingly, I love it! Nothing will replace my planner, but I do like how organized Outlook calendar is. Like you mentioned, what works best for some people, doesn’t always work best for you. With any job or internship, it’s so important to pick the right organization tool for you. Great start, Kenzie!

  2. pdxsx says:

    Well done, Kenzie! A perfect first post with very valuable information for any intern! Well written, concise and useful.

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