3 tips for improving organisation as a social worker

It’s easy to get overwhelmed as a social worker – with caseloads a dime a dozen and paperwork flying in every direction it’s important to get a hold on organisation so that you can remain productive (and keep your sanity intact). Our dedicated team has put together some suggestions below on how to improve your organisation as a social worker.

 

  1. Colour coding

 

Create a traffic light system so you can categorise workload into ‘urgent’ (red), ‘still needs attention’ (orange), and ‘resolved’ (green). Start with the most pressing cases and work your way down.

 

Having all of your tasks laid out on paper/online spreadsheet can help you better visualise what needs to be completed and stops the stress from building up in your head.

 

In the event that you have lots of ‘urgent’ tasks, don’t worry – some days are busier than others! On the other hand, if this is a continuous occurrence then it may be an indicator that you need additional support.

 

Set some time aside at the end of each day to update your chart so that you feel prepared and set yourself expectations for the next working day.

 

Don’t feel the need to follow this sheet religiously as you risk adding to your stress levels. Rather, it should be used as a useful reminder/guide of your responsibilities for the day, as well as a way to externalise and organise your thoughts.

 

  1. Ring binders are your friend 

 

Another way to organise your workload as a social worker is to make use of a good old ring binder! Break the folder down into subcategories e.g. “counselling”, “fostering and adoption”,  “child protection”, “children with disabilities” etc. You can then organise your client folders under each heading.

 

Of course, the colour coding system can be combined with this method if you’re feeling super ambitious today!

 

  1. Time batching

 

This technique is designed to help you focus on a specific group of tasks with minimal interruption. The tasks must be similar in terms of the amount of effort they require, for example:

 

Shallow tasks – these can be completed in short amounts of time and don’t require too much brain power (e.g. admin, phone calls, colour coding)

 

Deep tasks – these require high focus and energy and often take longer to complete (e.g. paperwork, client visitations).

 

Block your calendar out to allow for these two types of tasks and watch your productivity soar!

 

Here at Social Personnel, we understand that things don’t always go to plan – especially in such an unpredictable line of work. These are only suggestions which we recommend following loosely to help mitigate stress at work. We wish you a very happy and organised week!

carlette Isaac

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