In honor of National #GetOrganizedWeek, we wanted to highlight the organizational genius of Amy Benedict, the Head of Product here at Swag.com. Amy is responsible for so many tasks and projects that we trust her advice on organizing your life more than anyone else!
Here’s how Amy stays ahead of the curve, 24/7:
Hi Amy! What does your typical day look like?
I run the Product Department at Swag.com! It’s my job to make sure we are offering only the highest quality products to our customers.
To give you a look in to my typical day – I am managing the site, testing products to ensure the products we offer are top notch quality, collaborating with new brands we believe our customers will love, expanding our selection by adding new hot products on a daily basis, and sourcing unique product requests from our customers! We are checking inventory to ensure our products are readily available for our customers, constantly updating each product category to showcase which products are hot month to month, creating filters to continue to help our customers narrow their search, and creating new listings to keep our styles up to date!
There is no way I would be able to do all of this without the assistance from my product team, and a lot of organization!
We are constantly growing, and in order to keep up with tackling our everyday tasks, there are a few key things that help me stay organized on a daily basis:
- The first thing I need every morning is a cup of coffee. It might not sound like an organizational tool, but my cup of coffee is the start of my day and is the kick start to my morning routine which prepares me for the day ahead! (Preferably a dark roast) in my favorite Iselin Mug.
- My notebook and pen are the essential to not only my to-do list, but I am a strong believer in note taking. When I am in meetings, learning about new brands we may collaborate with – I always have my Moscow Notebook and Jotter Pen handy. I keep a to-do list in my notebook, which I create at the end of every day for what needs to get tackled the following day. This allows me to enjoy my cup of coffee, and already have an idea of what the day ahead will look like yet leaving some room for surprise tasks!
- Spreadsheets! I have gained a very strong appreciation for spreadsheets to keep myself, and my team organized. We hold team meetings every Monday and Friday to prepare for the week ahead, and to recap what was accomplished each week. We have different spreadsheets developed to stay on top of the different tasks at hand each day. All in which we update on a daily basis and sign off to keep track of the details. Running the product department for an e-commerce company means we are on the computer about 8-10 hours a day. That is a lot of screen time! While we are utilizing spreadsheets to keep the flow of our daily tasks organized, and spending most of our day looking at the computer screen – I am wearing my blue light glasses. These have been an essential (besides the coffee) to eliminate feeling drained when working off of the computer for such long periods of time! This allows me to stay focused, without developing those nagging headaches from too much screen time!
Staying organized for me is a key factor for not only my workflow, but everyday life! Don’t get me wrong, there are days where I get backed up on a few tasks, or there are a few unexpected surprise requests, but staying organized regularly allows me to adapt quicker to the curveballs that may be thrown my way!
I have noticed that I am less stressed, and generally happier on a daily basis when everything is laid out ahead of time, and organized in a structured manner using the tools I listed previously.
What are some quick tips you can offer up to folks looking to get more organized in their professional lives?
1. Create a routine.
Transitioning from the office structure to at-home remote work has been an exciting challenge. Creating a routine at home that transitions into my work day keeps me organized, on schedule, and allows me to maintain a good work / at home life balance.
2. Prepare ahead.
The best thing I ever started to do to keep my days structured and organized was to create my to-do list the day before. At the end of every work day, I take a few minutes and organize the tasks I need to focus on the following day. If I did not get to an important task on Monday, it’s on my to-do list for Tuesday.
In addition to my own to-do lists, the Product Department meets twice a week to set goals and tasks for the week ahead. We review our accomplishments at the end of every week, and if there is anything we didn’t get to, just like my own personal to-do lists, we add the tasks to the following week. This allows us to not only take pride in our work each day, but to set and reach our goals, stay open and organized as a team! Remind yourself that when you continue to reach small goals, eventually these small goals will turn into huge results!
Using spreadsheets to keep track of our goals, daily tasks, pipeline projects has been nothing but beneficial. There are a lot of moving parts on the backend of our website In order to keep it fresh and up to date. These spreadsheets allow us to continue to stay organized with every moving part every day!
4. Stay positive!
Every day is a new day. These organizational tools have helped me on a daily basis. If you don’t get to everything on your to-do list, it can always be added to the following day to ensure it gets done! Attitudes and mind-sets are contagious, so in order to keep a positive work environment not only for yourself, but for your team – lead by example and be the positivity! It can really change your outlook on everyday tasks and curveballs that may get thrown your way.