In this article, we explain why organization is important and some simple steps you can take to be better organized in the workplace.
Why is it important to be organized?
When you’re at work, it’s important to be organized so that you can balance many different tasks at once. Being organized can also help you in the following ways:
Accomplish goals: When you’re organized, you’re more likely to accomplish your career goals. With a plan, your work tends to be more streamlined and you’re able to complete tasks more quickly. For example, being organized can save you time, which may allow you to pursue other career goals in your free time, such as going back to school or earning certifications to further your role in your company. When you’re organized, you’re also able to help your company reach its objectives.
Maintain work-life balance: Organization can contribute to better work-life balance because you are more likely to complete your tasks during working hours instead of needing to take a project home, work overtime or make work calls and answer emails outside of your workplace. You can also enjoy your weekends at home if you can finish all of your assigned tasks during the workweek. Maintaining your work-life balance helps you get ready to start each new week with a clear mind.
Keep up the momentum: When you remain organized during the day, you can complete tasks more quickly and build momentum in your work. Momentum can provide you with the motivation you need to complete tasks on time and in order of priority. It also helps you check items off of your to-do list and can contribute to a sense of accomplishment at the end of the workday.
Increase productivity: When you are organized, you can dedicate more time to completing your work tasks rather than searching for notes and emails and looking through paperwork on your desk. Organization also improves communication, which helps teams become more productive as a whole.
Stay focused: By having a clean and organized workspace, you can focus more on your tasks. Not only is it easier to find what you need, but it also provides fewer potential distractions. When you’re focused on a task, you may also have a better sense of what else you need to do and by what deadline. It might help to write down your tasks in order of importance so that you know exactly what to work on next.
Lower stress and anxiety: Being organized can help you lower stress and anxiety because you can focus on one project or goal at a time with fewer distractions. This can help you develop a smoother workflow and allow you to perform at your best.
How to stay organized in the workplace
There are many ways to stay organized in the workplace. Consider taking these steps to maximize your workplace productivity and efficiency:
1. Time block your days
Time blocking your days can help you focus on your tasks. Time blocking involves planning out your calendar so that you complete certain tasks at specific times of the day, which helps minimize distractions. When you use time blocks as a guide for your day, you can be flexible and adjust them as needed based on meetings and other last-minute requests you receive.
2. Establish a routine and stick to it
When you create a daily routine, you’re more likely to form habits that give you structure and make each day go more smoothly. A routine becomes more automatic the longer you have it in place, and it can help you achieve your goals more efficiently because the steps you take to reach them are now more streamlined.
3. Use your email calendar
In the workplace, you likely have regularly occurring meetings with coworkers, managers or the entire office. Using your email calendar to set up alerts for these meetings can help you remain organized and prepare for them ahead of time. An email calendar is also useful for inputting due dates on tasks so that you can complete your work on time and adhere to your routine.
4. Write things down
Writing things down can help you remember important information and provide a place to reference your notes later on if needed. You can write things down on paper or in a digital notebook, depending on what works best for you and your workspace. Consider writing down meeting notes, important dates and a to-do list.
5. Develop checklists and templates
If you have recurring projects and tasks, develop checklists and templates to help you streamline and standardize your work processes. Checklists help ensure that you don’t miss any steps while completing a project, and templates simplify repetitive tasks because you don’t have to start from scratch each time, so both tools can improve your productivity, focus and organization.
6. Create a filing system
Whether for physical or digital paperwork, creating a filing system helps you reduce clutter to remain organized. For example, you could have folders for different types of important documents, such as invoices and contracts. You can also set up email folders for different categories, like projects or senders, to ensure that you are saving all important correspondence without keeping too many items in your inbox.
7. Clean up regularly
A clean workspace helps keep employees motivated, focused and productive. It also makes it quicker and easier to find important documents and other paperwork. Take some time each week to throw away unnecessary clutter and reorganize items into folders or desk drawers. When you clean up your workspace, it may help to use desk and drawer organizers. For example, you can have an organizer for your writing instruments and notebooks and another one for push pins, paperclips and other small office items. Keep similar items together and maximize the space on your desk and inside your drawers to keep your space clean and organized.
8. Avoid multitasking
Instead of multitasking, focus your efforts on completing one project or task at a time. Doing this can prevent mistakes, lower workplace stress and help you meet deadlines. You may also feel more accomplished when you’re focused on a specific task without distractions, and once it’s done, you can check that task off of your to-do list and use it as momentum to start your next task of the day.
9. Set aside specific time for emails
Instead of spending a lot of time throughout the day checking your inbox whenever a new email comes in, set aside blocks of time in your schedule to check your email. During these times, respond to priority messages, star any emails that you need to get to later and organize informational emails into folders. By incorporating organization into your inbox, you can stay focused on tasks without getting distracted while ensuring that you still answer emails in a timely manner.
We hope the tips above can help you improve your organizational skills and help you make the most of your workday. Share any other tips you might have in the comments below.