Organization is key to making sure you’re productive each day at work. The more organized you are, the less time you’ll waste looking for things and getting sidetracked. This means that being organized will actually save you time in the long run! To help give yourself an organizational boost, we’ve put together a list of tips and tricks for staying on top of things at work:
Organize your work desk.
Organizing your work desk is a must for keeping your workspace clean and organized. If you have a desk, table or office space that you use to complete tasks, it’s important that you keep it tidy.
Before organizing any area of your office, make sure that you clean up the space first by removing any unwanted items such as papers, books or files that are no longer needed. You may also want to consider decluttering some of the things on top of your desk so they don’t take up valuable real estate when working. In order to avoid clutter in the future try using storage containers for paper files rather than leaving them in stacks on top of each other where they can become disorganized over time leading to confusion later when looking through them again because they weren’t placed into their proper categories at first glance (e-mail inboxes are also good examples).
Create a to-do list for the day.
- Write down all the tasks you need to get done.
- Prioritize the most important tasks. If there are two or three really important things that need to be done, do those first.
- Break down big tasks into smaller ones. For example, if you have a project due in two weeks, break it into smaller parts and focus on one part per day until it’s completed. You can also break down large projects into smaller steps so they seem more manageable and less overwhelming.
- Check off items as they’re completed! This will give you a sense of accomplishment by seeing how far along you’ve come with your work—and it keeps track of what’s left to do too! And if there’s anything extra time at the end of the day? That’s perfect for checking off items on your list!
Complete the hardest tasks first.
- Focus on the most important tasks.
- Do the tasks that are most likely to make you feel good about yourself.
- Prioritize tasks based on their importance, not their difficulty.
- Example of a hard task you could do first: write that email for your boss that you’ve been putting off for weeks!
- Turn off notifications. This one is pretty obvious, but it bears repeating: don’t keep your phone on vibrate or silent, and don’t respond to emails immediately when they pop up in your inbox. Doing so will allow others to interrupt you whenever they want (and trust me—they will).
- Don’t answer the phone. Unless it’s an emergency, let voicemail pick up any calls that come through while you’re working. And if someone tries to call you twice and leaves a message? You can always call them back later in the day when things have settled down a bit at work.
- Don’t check email every five minutes; only every hour or two! Email can be highly disruptive because it compels us all too often into thinking about other people’s needs instead of our own; however, checking email compulsively won’t get anything done faster—in fact, it’ll slow everything down even more by causing unnecessary distractions from whatever task we’re trying to complete at hand! And if someone needs something from me urgently? They’ll leave me voice mail or send me text message (which are both better alternatives anyway).
Keep it tidy.
Keeping things tidy is a good way to avoid building up unnecessary stress. You’ll feel better about yourself, and your coworkers will appreciate the clear workspace that you leave for them.
- To keep your desk tidy, make sure that all of the papers on it are filed away in a file folder or binder.
- For example: If you have receipts from work-related purchases, they should go in one place where they can be easily found and organized.
- Keeping files organized has many benefits as well: It means you don’t have to waste time looking for something when it’s needed; it reduces wasted space by keeping old documents out of sight; and if someone else asks for something easy to find later on (like an invoice) then they’ll be able to find it without any trouble—no more futile searches through stacks upon stacks of paper!
Get up and move around.
You’re probably sitting at your desk for most of the day, so it’s important to get up and move around. If you work in an open office environment, this is easy to do—just walk over to a co-worker’s desk if you need something or have a question. You can also take short breaks by walking to the kitchen for a drink or bathroom break. Consider getting up for longer stretches of time as well: go outside (even if it’s just on the sidewalk in front of your building) for some fresh air, get some exercise by walking around the block with colleagues, even just going outside for 15 minutes can help clear your head!
Take breaks from work throughout the day, including a lunch break.
- Take breaks from work throughout the day.
- Even if you’re feeling productive and energized, it’s important to take regular breaks from your work. Otherwise, you may find yourself fatigued and distracted by your work.
- How often should I take breaks?
Make sure you have a lunch break at least once per day! In addition to allowing yourself time for lunch or other meals, taking this time off from intense concentration on your project helps reduce stress levels and keep you focused when working later in the afternoon or evening. Taking short breaks throughout each day also allows us to return better prepared with fresh ideas.
We all know that multitasking is not possible, and yet we often find ourselves doing multiple things at once. It’s called task switching, a cognitive process that involves shifting attention rapidly between tasks. But while your brain might be capable of working on multiple things at once, it can’t do them well. One study found that when people switch between tasks too frequently, they lose an average of 13 IQ points—and this doesn’t even count all the time wasted on inefficient multitasking in the first place!
Multitasking also increases stress levels and makes us more susceptible to anxiety. You may think you’re being productive by checking your email every five minutes, but there’s no way you’re giving any one task enough time or attention for it to be done properly. When you get distracted from what you’re doing by another activity (or worse yet, another person), it takes about 25 minutes for our brains to return to normal focus levels after being interrupted; by then we’ve already missed something important about whatever we were supposed to be doing in the first place!
Don’t forget about self care.
One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to practice self care. Self care does not have to be a chore; it can simply mean taking a walk around your neighborhood or eating your favorite food. If you have time, consider getting a massage!
Self care is not selfish—it’s necessary for good mental health and productivity in the workplace. Make sure that you are practicing self-care on an ongoing basis so that you can feel mentally well and physically energized while at work. You should also make sure that your employees are practicing self-care as well, because if they aren’t happy and healthy, neither will you be!
Organization is key to making sure you’re productive each day at work.
The first step to being productive at work is organizing yourself. If you’re not organized, it’s easy to lose track of what needs to get done, and this can lead to procrastination. Being unorganized will also make you less efficient, because when something comes up, you have no system or method for dealing with it efficiently. Being disorganized can even make you less effective and focused on your work tasks because things like papers lying around your desk will distract you from whatever task is at hand—and that’s even if they aren’t in the way of your screen!
In order for anyone in any job setting to be productive, organization must be a priority. If there are too many tasks floating around without any sense of priority or focus on one task before another, then productivity will not be achieved as easily as it could be if an organized system were in place instead. The next step after becoming more organized is actually executing on those systems so they improve upon themselves over time while still working toward achieving their goals within their environment
If you can keep these tips in mind, you’ll find that your work life becomes much more efficient and productive. You’ll be able to focus on one task at a time, get things done faster and more efficiently, set aside time for self care each day (and yes, even during lunch!), and avoid distractions that can derail your progress on projects or deadlines.