- 08 Jan
How to Stay Organized at Work
Do you ever feel like you’ve spent a whole day at work and have little to show for it? Perhaps you’re overwhelmed by your to-do list, or you find that you experience a steady stream of interruptions from colleagues. Sometimes trying to stay organized and on track can feel like you’re fighting a constant battle. Have no fear! OpenWorks has collected some of our best tips when it comes to organizing your world at work. Take a look at the below:
Keep a Clear Workstation
You’ve heard the one about a messy desk and a messy mind. It’s well-known that unorganized, cluttered workstations can lead to multiple distractions, and can make even the most laid-back employee feel overwhelmed. Start by clearing your desk to the bare minimum. That means computers, phones, stationary and a pin board. Paperwork should be filed in a physical inbox and outbox, so you know exactly what still needs to be actioned. While this method isn’t a magic wand when it comes to staying organized and focused, it helps promote efficiency and productivity.
Keep a To-Do List
Most people will keep to-do lists in one form or another. Whether it’s a paper list that you physically cross off as tasks are completed, or you use an online project management system, learning how to properly maintain an effective to-do list is a must for staying organized at work. A common mistake that people make is to overload their list of to-dos. Not only is this unrealistic, but it reinforces the idea that there are some tasks that you’ll just never get around to. This isn’t true! It’s generally agreed that most daily to-dos should consist of no more than 6 items: one for each hour of the day. That allows a couple of hours for answering emails and general housekeeping tasks, and the rest is for breaks throughout the day. Oh, and start the day with the task that you are dreading most. Not only does that get it out of the way for the rest of the day, but it will make everything else on your plate seem a lot easier to complete!
Make the Most of Technology
Technology has made it so much easier to stay streamlined and focused when it comes to managing your workload. There are so many excellent platforms out there, and most come with their own apps, so you can update your task list on the go. OpenWorks’ favorites include Trello and Asana for increasing productivity and keeping track of projects. Anything that allows you to set deadlines, track changes, and view your calendar in one fell swoop makes staying organized that little bit easier.
Take Regular Breaks
Human beings are not robots and there’s not a person in the world that can keep going indefinitely with boundless energy and zeal. Understanding that taking frequent breaks is key to staying organized and focused is the first step. Taking time to physically leave the office to take a short walk or meditating for 10 minutes a day are also great ways to switch your mind off from work, making it easier to return to your tasks with a focused mind.
Turn Off Notifications
While technology has made staying organized and managing priorities easier, it can also prove to be a distraction (think constant email notifications). If you notice that your phone or computer is constantly pinging with updates and taking you away from your task at hand, consider closing your email browser or app while you finish what you’re doing. If your job allows, you can also set aside 2 hours each day to check your emails (once in the morning, and once in the afternoon), leaving you able to throw yourself into getting your work done.
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