For a funeral director, it would probably be hard to describe what they do on a day-to-day basis. Some days are spent meeting with families and conducting arrangements, others are spent heading out to answer call after call. Even on so-called “slow” days, there are clerical tasks, cleaning, and other miscellaneous tasks to stay on top of.
It’s easy to get lost in the chaos, so here are some tips on how to stay focused:
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Lists are a wonderful thing. Even this blog post is a list. Creating a checklist is a great way to stay organized throughout the week, especially when there is a high degree of variability in day-to-day tasks. If something pressing comes up, a checklist will always be something you can come back to and get right back on track.
2. Take Notes
Much like keeping a checklist, taking notes is a great way to make sure every little detail is accounted for. It’s especially helpful when talking with families about planning and arrangements. You can take them on your smartphone or the timeless yellow legal pad; either way, good note-taking habits are a great way to make sure nothing gets missed.
With long days and sometimes even longer nights, coffee can be a real lifesaver. If a cup of joe isn’t your thing, try some tea. A little caffeine can help give you that little extra push to get through your tasks. Of course, nothing will beat a solid night of sleep. But in this profession, that can be hard to come by, can’t it? At the very least, try to set aside some “me time” to avoid burning out.
4. Ask for Help
It’s important to recognize we are human, and it’s okay to ask for help. Investing in and training the right people can take away a lot of the small clerical tasks that eat up your time. It also will help open up time for you to focus on the bigger things.
5. Think About the Big Picture
The week is probably hard to plot out on paper because plans always change. But it is a good idea to have a general sense of direction. Set your long-term goals, and think about how each task works toward them.
Sort your work by what can be done later and what needs to get done right now. Sorting tasks by priority is a great way to ensure you are optimizing your work. And make sure you keep in mind the big picture when you prioritize — is what you’re prioritizing really making an impact on your long-term goals, or can it be reconsidered as low priority?
7. Be Flexible
As important as it is to have a plan laid out, it’s equally important to stay flexible. Things come up — perhaps you have more funeral services than usual or a last-minute request from a family you serve. That’s what checklists are for. Don’t be afraid to rearrange what needs to be done!
8. Take Advantage of Technology
We live in a wonderful time. Technology is rapidly evolving around us and has made every aspect of life easier. Don’t be afraid of new technology; instead, embrace the ways it can keep you organized.
What are some of your own tips you use to stay organized? Let us know in the comments below!