Taking the time to get organized at work helps us be productive and get through our daily work tasks. However, it is easy to get overwhelmed with piles of papers, clutter, and tons of emails in our inboxes, so that we forgo efforts at any sort of organization and just “wing it,” hoping nothing “falls through the cracks.” While this might work for a short period of time, eventually something is going to get overlooked and end up becoming a major crisis.
Granted, there are people who thrive and perform well among stacks of papers and files scattered about their desk, but not everyone works well in what could look like a big unorganized mess. Whether you are more productive with a messy desk or find it challenging to stay on top of your tasks, everyone can benefit from spending a little time each work day getting organized.
- Make a “to-do” list of tasks you want to accomplish for the day. Your list helps you stay focused on what needs to get done. If you do not get everything completed on your list, move any remaining items to the top of your list for the next work day.
- Get rid of any clutter you no longer need. Spend about five to ten minutes at the start of each work day going through the papers on your desk. Shred and recycle any papers you no longer need from completed tasks. Put any binders or files you no longer require back in the filing cabinet.
- Organize your desk for the day. Get out any files, binders, documents, and so on that you will need to complete the tasks on your “to-do” list. Set aside anything else not related to those tasks.
- Limit the amount of time you spend checking and responding to emails. The less time you can spend on emails, the more time you have to get your work done. Ideally, you should check and respond to emails first thing in the morning, again after lunch, and last, about a half hour before ending your work day. If there are any urgent emails you need to address, move these to your “to-do” list and make them part of your daily tasks.
- Liven up your work space so you feel comfortable. Put up a few family pictures, plants, and flowers, and add other personalized touches to make it your own. These little touches not only can brighten up your day, but can also help create a happy work space.
- Tidy up before going home at the end of the work day. Put files, folders, and other such things away or shred/recycle papers from any tasks you have fully completed. Move any items you did not get done to a new “to-do” list for the next work day. Make sure to secure your workstation by shutting down or locking your computer, and securing any sensitive documents or papers, which should never be left out on your desk.
Taking the time to get organized at the start of your work day will help make you more productive and will help you get more accomplished.
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