Being organized means so much more than well-kept shelves, labeled folders, and zero clutter. We want to be able to find what we’re looking when we need it without much effort. We’ve all been in a situation where someone asks you for something, and in the chaos of searching for where we think it would be, it’s not there. Our heart races, we feel an undeniable pressure resting on our shoulders, scared to disappoint those we are helping. In attempts to guard against this common dilemma, we have come up with five different suggestions to be more organized. These tips can improve your efficiency in the office so situations like that don’t happen – again.
At the end of each work day, I take the last 10 minutes or so to reflect back on what I accomplished, what I didn’t, and what needs to be done tomorrow. It helps me stay on track of not only my daily goals, but my weekly goal as well. Anything with higher importance, I add to my work calendar. Reminders are your best friend when it comes to organization.
Clear Your Desktop
No matter what your career is, you will most likely have forms and documents to constantly reference throughout your work day. Rather than saving them individually, create a folder that you’ll be able to reference quickly to access said documents. This will save you time from searching and sifting through all your other saved or downloaded items.
Categorize Your Email
Email is the main source of communication in today’s world. Some people get hundreds a day, some only a handful. No matter the amount, organizing your inbox into separate categories will be very helpful. If you’re apart of different teams or projects within your organization, create a folder that will filter emails sent regarding said project or any team information – this will help avoid important emails from getting buried or ignored.
Declutter Your Desk
This will mean something different for everyone. Some people work well in an environment that is a little cluttered, some do not. There is a fine line, however, on just how “cluttered” your area should be for you to work efficiently. There’s no reason to spend 5-10 minutes sifting through papers to find the right one you need. If you have access to a file cabinet or your desk has cubbies, I find it very helpful to label these areas and utilize them to store your important documents. For example, I have hanging folders and a few of them are labeled as: Invoices, Tax Forms, Training Documents, etc. This helps me quickly reference the documents I need that can’t be saved electronically.
Revamp Your To-Do List
This goes back to step 1 in becoming more organized. Having a to-do list can help you achieve your goals in a timely manner. Personally, I’ve always used my own approach but for those familiar with the “1-3-5 rule”, mine is very similar. This strategy allows you to think ahead to the large goal you’re wanting to attain for your week, and then plan how you’re going to reach it using priorities to focus on and strategies on how to get there. For example, if you have a large presentation or deadline coming up, be sure to make that your one goal, and following this will be all the tasks (ranging in importance) that will lead you to the completion of your presentation. Throughout my day, I’m constantly being pulled into new assignments that come through via email, which is why I recommend aligning your to-do list with your calendar. Things will always come up that we didn’t prepare for, but if you have a concrete plan of your day and week, working things in shouldn’t be a huge issue.
Organization in the workplace can benefit you in so many ways. By taking these tips and implementing them in your work day, your productivity will surely rise, your stress should decrease, and your consistency will improve. For more information on this topic or other topics connected to your employment needs, check out our career development blogs and resources.