Unless being organized comes as second nature to you, most of us are guilty of procrastinating when it comes to tidying up our desks or sorting out our papers. According to Chron.com, individuals with poor organizational skills are likely to experience a stunt in their professional growth as they are less productive and efficient at work. Meanwhile, those who are organized at work tend to be more focused and are able to remain on top of their game.
Whether or not keeping organized is one of your strengths, it’s a habit which everyone can benefit from.
To help inspire you, we have compiled five tips to help you get organized at work.
Tidy up your desk
Perhaps the most important part of being organized is ensuring that you have a neat and tidy working space. When you maintain an organized desk, you are creating the best environment for accomplishing day-to-day tasks while preventing important tasks from getting lost in chaos and clutter.
Start by getting rid of any papers that can be recycled or shredded. For papers you feel are important to keep, create a filing system and consider organizing them alphabetically or within a color scheme. You can also make a simple sorting system for your papers: to-do, to read, to file. Or check out the KonMari method to sort out the clutter on your desk.
Give everything a home
From your files to your stationary, ensure that everything has a proper place. Not only does this make it easier for you to find what you need, you don’t have to go on a wild goose chase each time you need to locate something.
Use storage boxes or file sorters to store your papers so as to avoid a pile on your desk. Consider going vertical – if you use it often, keep it close and store it in easy-to-access storage boxes. But if you only use it once in a while, store it in high or low storage spots to open up the space in between for things you do use often.
Before leaving the office, make it a habit to allocate a few minutes to tidy up your desk. Things do not stay organized on their own; it needs to be reorganized continuously and consistently. Ensure that everything is kept in its dedicated space.
Bad news for those who love multitasking! While it may seem like an efficient way to ensure that all tasks gets taken care of, going back and forth between various tasks actually does nothing but slow our brains down. Juggling between two or more things at once can even release the stress hormone in our brain, which impacts our ability to concentrate and make decisions.
Focus on one task at a time. Set goals and prioritize the more urgent and important tasks which need to be accomplished within the day. This ensures that you are always on time and do not get distracted or feel overwhelmed by the mounting tasks.
Have a central to-do list
Some people prefer to write their tasks down on paper or use apps and websites designed to keep you on track. For example, Basecamp allows you to keep track of all of your assignments, update their status and cross them off when you are done.
Create a color-coding system to group tasks according to its priority level. Another tip: If you keep your to-do-list electronically, cross items off rather than deleting them. This way, you’ll still be able to keep track of finished assignments and feel a sense of accomplishment.
Starting the habit of being organized can be an arduous process. But once you create the habit, it gets easier and you will see amazing results. Don’t sweat it and start organizing!