5 Steps to Being More Organized at Work

Did you know January was “Get Organized Month”? Not really surprising since January is the time when most people make resolutions, and one of those resolutions always seems to be to improve organization at home or at work. Of course, if you missed out on “celebrating,” that doesn’t mean you can’t get organized now. (After all, they’re your resolutions, right?) Here are a few simple tips you can put in place right now to improve your organization at work:

  1. Declutter your area. Just like having a cluttered home can make life seem more harried and hectic, a cluttered work space makes it difficult to stay on task and stay focused. Get rid of unnecessary clutter and be ruthless about it. If there are some objects you don’t want to toss, store them in a box out of sight and out of the way.
  2. Invest in supplies. Technology has cut down on a lot of paper clutter, but there’s still enough to clutter our desks and work surfaces. Take inventory of what you need to help you stay on task, like bins, file folders and other organizing material, then hit up the local office supply store and pick some items that suit those needs to a “T.”
  3. Keep your desk clear. Once you’ve decluttered and you have the items you need to keep things in order, make sure to keep your desk free of any unnecessary items – typically, that means only the items you’re working on now and maybe some things you plan to work on later. Stow anything else in its proper bin, folder or box.
  4. Start and end every day with a list – and decide how to tackle your tasks. Having a list – handwritten or virtual – is one of the most important things you can do to stay organized. Plus, crossing things off adds to your sense of accomplishment. (For virtual lists, use the strikethrough function instead of deleting items so you can stay motivated by seeing all you’ve done.) Tackle difficult tasks first while you’re most alert and energized, or if you have a couple of small, easy tasks, opt to knock those out to get that feeling of accomplishment early in your day.
  5. Set aside specific time for email, social media and other online tasks. The internet can be a big timesaver or a big timewaster. Tame the ‘net’s siren call by setting aside specific times each day – maybe first thing in the morning, after lunch and before you leave for the day – to check in, and limit your time online to 15 minutes each time.

Improving organization at work can clear your mind, help you focus and even make you more productive. Plus, studies have shown working in an environment that’s organized can actually improve your mood, not just at work, but in other areas of your life as well – and that’s a resolution we all want to keep.

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