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Keeping Organized in the Workplace

April 17, 2018
Mindy Overlin

Do you sometimes find yourself sitting at your desk looking at an inbox full of emails not knowing where to start and which one to answer first? Do you find yourself looking at your desk seeing papers piled up feeling completely overwhelmed by the disorganization? Do you find yourself frustrated and even in a state of panic because it feels like there is so much to do and no plan of action to complete it?

Many of us face this day to day in our jobs. Organization is key to productivity. Let’s take a look at some of the key tips to maintaining an organized work life.

Organizing ourselves

A good way to gain organization is by starting with ourselves. Getting enough sleep each day is key for gaining organization in our lives. With a good night’s sleep you are more likely to be able to concentrate better the next day and be more alert.

Make a point to take breaks throughout the day. Taking time to refresh ourselves gives our brain a break and the boost that it needs to continue to be productive throughout the day. So make a point to take a few minutes to eat a healthy snack, get some fresh air or daydream about your upcoming vacation.

Organize our workspace

It is much easier to be productive when the space around you is organized. Start organizing your workspace by getting rid of the clutter. Toss those papers out that you no longer need. Keep only the essentials at your desk that you need. You want everything close by at your desk that you will need throughout the day but having too much clutter and things that you don’t use will just end up distracting you.

Organize your essential items in a way that will work for you. A lot of our jobs don’t use as much paperwork anymore but if you are someone that requires a lot of paperwork in your current job you might find that you need a better filing system to hold all of your papers. Pick furniture and storage containers that work for you and your job. There are so many options to help us organize our workspace such as plastic containers for storage, dividers, labels, whiteboards, etc.

Organize your time

Most of us have a variety of ongoing projects, meetings, phone calls, and tasks to do each day.  It’s important to have a plan and system for keeping these organized.

A good place to start is to do some brainstorming and identify what your goals are. Identify both of your long term goals and short term goals. Prioritize your goals and then set up a timeframe for each of them.

Consider using a list in your daily routine.  You can make a list of your long term goals and what your timeframe is for completing them. Keep this somewhere in your office so that you can hang it up or see it when you need to refer to it or cross something off when it’s completed. A daily to do list is a great idea for your short term goals. Each morning start the day off by creating your to do list.  You will notice that your list will keep you on track and help you stay organized throughout the day and help reduce letting you get sidetracked. You will also feel a sense of accomplishment as you cross these items off your list throughout the day. If you would rather not write your to do list on paper each day, Evernote is a great application to use for writing your to do list on your computer/phone each day.

Utilize your calendar and block off time to complete certain tasks and keep on track. This will help you determine the amount of time each task will take you and what you can get completed within the days time.

Organize your computer

Take the time to clean up your desktop on your computer and get rid of unwanted files that are no longer needed or taking up space.

Depending on your job, you may receive an overloading amount of emails a day. If you are one of those people you must have a plan to keep your email organized or you will become overwhelmed in no time.

Use these tips to maintain control of your inbox:

  1. Delete old emails that you no longer need. Either file it or delete it.
  2. If you have numerous responses to a chain email, keep only the most recent and delete all others.
  3. Create a filing system for your emails. Create folders to file emails that you need to save. Organize by subject, name, or even by priority. Do whatever works best for you to recover emails that you will need at a later date.
  4. Keep your inbox cleaned up. Designate set times to handle emails and then file accordingly.
  5. Unsubscribe to emails that you no longer want to receive.
  6. Utilize the different organization tools that your email has. Depending on what email system you are using, there are a variety of tools you can use to help keep you organized.

Life can be hectic at times. Between our personal and work life, we have a lot of information filtering in and out all day long. If we adopt some of these organizational skills in our daily life, you will see a noticeable difference. An organized workplace will lead to better productivity and an overall happier work environment.