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How to Be Organized at Work (Complete Guide)

Whether in your home office or on-site, keeping your workspace tidy isn’t only helpful, it’s essential to your productivity! Disorganized work tasks can lead to stress, and if they’re due to the lack of a good organizational system, it can slow down your career goals and makes it harder to maintain a good work-life balance. But sometimes we just don’t know where to start.

I run two businesses and a community organization. And I still manage to find time for myself and for my hobbies.

It took me a long time to create my own organizational system, but I’m on the right track, and I hope this article will help you.

The First Step to Becoming More Organized at Work

Organizing your workspace is one of the most important things you can do to increase your productivity. However, gaining the right organizational skills is also one of the hardest steps to take because it requires a certain level of commitment in both your personal and professional life, as well as a good work-life balance.

The most successful people in any field are those who put thought into how they work. They make sure their workplace is efficient and effective, and use the right tools and techniques to get the most out of every productive minute.

Before you start reorganizing your messy workspace, ask yourself a few questions:

  • What’s my goal?
  • Do I need to be more organized?
  • Am I doing something that’s repetitive?
  • Is there a way to improve my efficiency or effectiveness?
  • Is the most important thing I need to work on is time management or an organized desk?

12 Tips for Better Organization in the Office

Organizing your office means looking at the big picture and changing the way you work. Of all the things we do, creating an organized workplace is one of the most important tasks when it comes to running a successful business. And it’s one of those things that often gets overlooked by people who don’t know where to start.

Start with one area at a time and make sure it’s where you want it to be. If you find that the area is still messy after a few days, try another area. And if you keep trying the same idea and never get anything done, move on and come back to it later.

Instead of following a rigid structure or routine, there are some easy ways to make an organized workspace a part of your daily life:

1. Pay Attention to Your Physical Surroundings

The more things you’ve on your desk, the harder it’s to focus on one thing. It’s tempting to put whatever comes to mind on your monitor. Resist the urge – keep an organized and clean workspace.

2. Clean Desk

Start by getting rid of anything you don’t need to work. This can be anything from old receipts and grocery lists to pieces of paper with notes scribbled on them by your kids or spouse. When you clean up your workspace, you can focus much better on the important things. You don’t need it all at once.

3. Organized Workspace

This is easier said than done because on a computer you can keep everything in one place and move it to another at any time, but it’s worth the effort.

If you start out using every surface as a workspace, you’ll end up with an office full of paper clips, pens, and another office supply that doesn’t belong there. If you don’t need that sticky note anymore, threw it away.

The last thing you want is more clutter that is not on your to-do list.

Divide up what you can. You’re probably used to keeping different items in different places, but it’s all too easy to lose track of them when they’re scattered throughout your home or office. You need a place to put everything, whether it’s on a desk, in an organizer, or in a box, so start making space.

4. Create a Work Digital Calendar

Create a digital calendar that includes a color code. For example, I have a color code for each organization I manage, and I also have specific days and times when I deal with certain people or work tasks.

Tip from personal experience

My typical to-do list in a workday looks like this:

I tend to do administrative tasks in the morning between 9 am and 1 pm, while every important task that requires more inspiration and productivity tends to be done in the afternoon (away from distraction). On weekends, there are usually smaller tasks that can be done with distraction (e.g., phone calls, social media activity).

Unless it’s an emergency, try to stick to your own rules.

If you manage multiple organizations or businesses as I do, make sure your meetings show up on all of your calendars so that no matter which digital calendar you open, you don’t miss an important task or meeting.

5. Set Up a Filing System for Paperwork

It’s best to start with the paperwork you receive regularly – bills, receipts, mail, etc. – as this will help keep you organized and on top of things. Stick to a system that works for you – you’ll feel more comfortable if you can quickly find your way around the office, whether it’s picking up just one folder each day or using a sticky note (but not for scheduling meetings).

6. Set Up an Area for Paper Clutter and Sorting

If you’ve piles of paper (bills, for example) that are just sitting in a desk drawer, it’s time to sort them in a more accessible place. It doesn’t matter where you file them – just get them out of your workspace! Clear out all of your unnecessary physical files from the organized workspace.

7. Project Management Tool

Minimize the amount of project management tools you use, and create a separate folder for each project so you can keep everything separate and within easy reach.

Make sure you set a realistic deadline for each project. If you can not accomplish tasks on time, it will only lead to additional stress. It’s better to spend more time on strategic time management and use the right tool and filing system than to miss your career goals.

Inbox. Separating your work email inbox from your personal email inbox will help you stay organized. But that’s not enough. You should also have better control over your professional inbox.

8. Eliminate Every Distraction

This is an important step because it’s not just about esthetics when you clear your workspace of clutter, it’s also about keeping you focused on what’s important, especially when you’re on remote work. Avoid social media while you work, and if there’s a personal item that distracts your attention from your professional goals, put it in the drawer.

9. Don’t Let Others Push You

Don’t be rushed if you don’t have to be. Don’t push yourself to do anything you may regret later. For example, if you’re asked by others to do a smaller task immediately or during your workday, while your boss expects an important portfolio from you, you should weigh and prioritize what’s the most important deadline.

You don’t have to say yes to everything every time, especially when you’re busy with a very important task.

It’s easy to get carried away with the urge to respond to every email or message. You’re probably inundated with emails and messages, so you feel like you need to respond right away. But there are a few things you can do to manage the deluge.

  • First, be selective about what you actually need to respond to. When you’re on vacation, only check your email when it’s absolutely necessary. Vacation should help you relax so you can be more efficient when you return to work. And if you feel guilty or worry that the other person might be upset, set your autoresponder with the date you’ll be back in the office.
  • Second, don’t let other people pressure you into making decisions if you’re not ready, unless you have to. If your boss or a client asks for your opinion on an important project when you haven’t had time to think about it, politely ask when the deadline is for a response to buy yourself time – there’s nothing worse than giving the wrong answer, and then it takes you longer to correct your mistake. It also sets healthy boundaries, and the person will think twice next time before telling you something is urgent. Very often you’ll find that many things aren’t as urgent as they seem.

10. Avoid Multitasking When You Can

Many of us take the ability to multitask for granted. It’s much easier to get work done when you are connected to email, social media, or the Internet, but it’s important to realize that multitasking is not just about keeping up with the latest news or checking email. It can negatively impact your productivity and even cause you to miss deadlines.

When you multitask, it can be difficult to focus on one task at a time. You may find yourself switching back and forth between two different tasks in an attempt to get them both done in the same amount of time, which means that neither task gets done as well as it could have.

The most common form of multitasking is sending multiple emails or checking social media pages. However, these activities are better done separately because they slow you down and prevent you from focusing 100 percent on the task at hand.

When you do two things at once, your brain has to make two decisions – one for each task. Multitasking takes up time and energy that could have been spent on one of the two tasks and therefore causes unnecessary stress and distractions for both tasks.

11. Stay Positive

Positive thinking is one of the most effective ways to improve your work environment. You can use it to:

  • Plan things out and be more productive. It’s much easier to get a task done when you’re looking forward to it. If your plans seem daunting, think about how you can make them less daunting. For example, you could reduce the number of steps or tackle a simpler version of an existing project instead of tackling something new at the same time.
  • Negotiate better with others. If you’re enthusiastic and positive, others are more likely to see you as someone they can work with. You’re also more likely to convince them that your ideas make sense. And remember, enthusiasm is contagious. If people see that you’re enthusiastic, they’re likely to be enthusiastic themselves.
  • Find solutions to problems. When people are negative, they don’t tend to find solutions – they look for problems instead. However, when people are positive, you should expect them to look for solutions instead.

A positive mindset can also reduce stress, improve your skills, and increase your productivity and creativity.

12. Do a Physical Activity

The benefits of physical activity are well known, but there are some surprising ways that exercise can also improve your workday:

You’ll be more alert and productive at work.

If you don’t exercise regularly, you probably feel pretty sluggish most of the time. A regular workout will make you feel energized and ready to go wherever you’re – which will make you more effective at work. You’ll sleep better at night.

Exercise keeps your body happy and healthy, which means you’ll be less likely to suffer from stress-related problems like insomnia or sleepless nights. If you’re too busy to travel, you can find an exercise program that you can do from your home office and that works with your daily routine (eg: online or virtual reality).

After just a few weeks of regular exercise, you’ll notice a decrease in anxiety and a boost in creativity and productivity!

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