A common New Year resolution for many people is to finally get organized. Organization is the key to being productive in your daily activities. But when things start to get busier or overwhelming, staying organized is often the first thing that gets pushed to backburner.
Regain control of your work life by utilizing these eight organizational strategies:
If you look at your existing workspace, what do you see? Is it a cluttered mess? Disorganized people often have desktops completely littered with paper, or offices filled with boxes of “I’ll-keep-that-just-in-case” items. It is impossible for professionals to stay focused and on-track in a cluttered environment. Your first step is to purge the items you no longer need or are required to store.
If purging is not something you can accomplish during normal working hours, schedule a time outside of your typical work day. Purging is often most successful when there are no distractions.
2. Lists are not the enemy
Start maximizing your daily productivity by using lists. You can do this on paper or with a digital app such as One Note or Evernote. Categorize your lists using deadlines by creating a to-do list for today and a to-do list for the week. This keeps high-priority items in the forefront of your mind.
3. Block out time for specific tasks
Schedule chunks of time on your daily calendar where you close your office door or plug in your earbuds and just focus on the tasks on your list. Removing distractions from your schedule is a significant time-saver that too many of us ignore. Having scheduled time keeps you accountable for accomplishing what is expected of you and delivering on your promises to co-workers, employees and managers.
4. Sync your calendars
Most people have a smartphone or mobile device they carry with them everywhere. Avoid double-booking yourself by syncing your mobile calendar with your desktop calendar.
5. Color-code emails
Most email platforms have multiple organizational tools that few people use. One of the best features is color-coded categories that you can customize to meet your needs. Separate your emails into priority categories or types of feedback required to get a better handle on your time. This also lets you sort emails easily when searching your inbox.
6. Create a document filing system
There is nothing worse than showing up to work, turning your computer on, and having hundreds of documents demanding your attention on your desktop. Create a structured filing system on your computer to properly file and organize these documents. Filing online documents in virtual folders makes it simple to find needed files at a later date.
7. Put things in their place
One of the best techniques you can implement comes directly after you purge your office space. Assign everything—including documents, writing utensils and business cards—a specific place in your office. Commit to putting these items away at the end of every day. This assures you don’t lose valuable files and makes it possible to get right to work the next morning.
8. Invest in rest time
The final strategy that can help channel your inner organizational skills is to invest in valuable sleep and rest time. Sleep helps de-clutter your mind and gives you a fresh start to put your best foot forward every day.
Lack of organization wreaks havoc on your daily life including your health. Stress, anxiety and feelings of being unaccomplished are all signs you need to analyze your organizational skills. Organizing your daily activities does not take time away from your day; instead, it gives back that time and alleviates the extra pressure on your performance that causes stress and anxiety.