Are you swimming in paper, post-it notes, clutter on your desk? Are you trying to find the best techniques to get organized at work? Well in this article I’m going to share with you, tried and true techniques I’ve used over, and over again that work. I get asked all the time, how do I stay so productive, and organized, well I’m going to give you my top five techniques that I use to get organized at work, so let’s get to it.
Top 5 techniques to use to get organized at work
1. Stop Multitasking
It’s probably the most important organizational tip that you can ever do because it’s the number one mistake most people in organizations make all the time.
If you’re going to be organized, then you need to ensure that you put good quality work out there.
Multitasking is not an organization, yet some people equate the two together. It is proven that people cannot multitask, it is a very small percentage who can, and when you multitask, you actually take away from the quality of work that you’re doing.
Particularly when you’re multitasking on activities that really have to use the brain and the logic, you just can’t do it.
So in order to truly stay organized, the first step is to stop the myth that multitasking works, it does not, and if you drop that, and understand to do one thing at a time, your organization is going to skyrocket.
2. Organize your brain to get organized at Work
Yes, a cluttered mind just like a cluttered desk leads to stress, which does not help you with organization, so what are some things you can do to help organize your brain?
Well first and foremost is you really may want to try meditation, it is proven scientifically how meditation can reduce stress, it also allows you to be in the moment so you don’t get caught in that whirlwind of activity, which just increases stress and increases disorganization.
You also want to consider sleep, it’s really important to get the right amount of sleep, I’m not going to tell you how many hours to get, because everyone is different, I know people who four hours are absolutely fine, and other people who need nine, the point is, don’t skimp out on sleep.
Another thing you really may want to consider too is taking breaks, if you’re going to stay organized within your workday then you need to take mini-breaks.
It’s proven, a five-minute break within every hour of an activity that you’re doing just brings you back to reality, allows you to ground yourself, gives you enough time so when you get back into it you can stay focused, and ultimately stay organized with what you’re doing.
The benefit of all of this is when you have a stress-free mind, and your brain is organized, it translates very easily to the things outside in front of you, the physicality stuff.
3. Organize your workspace
Yes, organize your workspace. This is a given when it comes to organization. Some of the techniques I want to give you though maybe something you haven’t considered.
I am very fortunate to work in many different types of industries, and organizations, and departments, and one of the things I find in the manufacturing sector is that they do really well from an organization’s standpoint that I’m going to now share with you, is the 360 method.
The 360 method is just this: think of everything that you touch, and things that you need constantly, and daily, which should be within a 360 circle. If you constantly have to get up for something that is important to you and that is critical to you doing your work and you’re doing it constantly by getting up and out of your desk that is disorganization.
You want to have everything at your fingertips, and stuff that you don’t need, or don’t use, get rid of it, or store it away, really rethink your space. Yeah, clean up the desk, make sure you don’t have clutter, but really think and strategize what do you need at your fingertips, and do the 360 methods.
Another thing too when it comes to physical organization, particularly with your desk, clear it off at the end of the day, there is something really powerful when things are put away, and then when you get to your desk the very next day, that it’s clean, it just gives you the same and proper mindset for you to be organized.
4. Organize your email
All right we talked about the physical organization, now we’re going to talk about electronic organization, and I want you to organize your email. This is the second place that we live, all the time.
If it’s not physically being at work, wherever that may be, it’s our inbox that we constantly live in, so don’t allow it to get out of control, do not use it as a filing cabinet system.
I see that too often, where people are storing stuff, get into the habit of touching your emails once, absolutely once, get into the habit of looking at your emails at certain points in the day.
Again, this is going to be dependent upon your role, and you may need to go into your email more frequently than other people, but if you can actually stick to maybe, once, or twice, going to your email that’s huge, touch it once, clearly file things away in proper file folders, don’t leave them hanging inside your inbox. That is a huge way just to ensure and then delete.
Some of you work in large organizations and you don’t have a choice because you have a max size on your inbox, that’s actually a good thing that it’s done for you, otherwise you’re just going to hoard stuff.
Don’t hoard, clean it up, strip it away, and just focus on what you need. Try to have a minimum of 20 things in your inbox max, at all times, because that means you’re deleting and getting rid of it.
5. Organize your work calendar
Okay, this is another electronic one from an organizational standpoint, and really important. If you’re going to remain organized you need to make sure that the timing of your day is organized.
It’s really hard to be organized as an individual if your calendar just has these big blocks because you know what happens, you tend not to follow them, so then where’s your structure.
I always like to share with people, look, you have work to do, so you have to block out what I call power hours, so literally an hour in the day, and you do not budge on them if you can do those earlier in the day, because emergencies tend not to pop up, and don’t block out your full schedule.
Give the time needed, so when you can have meetings, so that people know when to book you, because if you’re true to your calendar, people will start respecting that, because they know if you just block out the full day, then people know, oh I’m just going to try to negotiate, or send them the invite anyway because I know they rearrange it anyhow.
well if you’re going to remain organized, you yourself have to have time in the day that’s specifically booked off, and you have to teach people how to use your calendar so that you can remain organized, otherwise, it’s disorganization, you’re constantly array, and who really knows what’s going on, that doesn’t help, it adds to stress.
So really take a look at your calendar, and in the ideal world, if you have the power to change how people use your calendar in your organization, I highly recommend you make this a priority, too many people don’t do this right, and particularly now, when a lot of people are working virtually, understanding how people calendars are, are critical to organizational success.
Conclusion on how to be organized at Work
Now that you’re on your way to being more organized at work it is now time to take this up a notch and to be more organized within your business activities.
Those activities can be initiatives and projects, and if you’re going to be more organized with those, you need to have an understanding as to why projects fail. And if you can control this, your organizational skills are going to skyrocket.
Don’t forget to share it with all the people that you know, if you have any organizational tips at work that work for you that I may not have shared here, please put them in the comments below, I’d love to read from you. Happy Organizing!