Even some of the savviest professionals have been known to put off – or to completely avoid – ways to get organized at work. Unfortunately, ongoing disorganization can lower your productivity and send your stress levels skyrocketing. To keep this problem from overwhelming you, take a look at our expert tips for staying organized at work.
Tame Your Email
As a recruiter who frequently communicates with clients and candidates, I know how quickly emails can accumulate and go from useful to seemingly unmanageable. An out-of-control inbox is one of the biggest productivity killers for professionals across all fields. An easy first step to taming your email is to take stock of your subscriptions. If you’re signed up for more daily industry e-newsletters than you can read, you’re adding unnecessary clutter to your inbox. Unsubscribe from e-newsletters you don’t have time to for or create a filter so that those messages skip your inbox and go directly to a specific folder. Prevent the rest of your emails from piling up by setting aside a designated time each day for sorting, organizing and deleting new emails before they can get out of hand.
Keep To-Do Lists
Many professionals waste countless hours trying to mentally juggle the tasks they need to complete. While you may think it’s possible to remember all your appointments, due dates and project details – it’s much easier to write these down and keep everything in one list. Make your to-do list for the upcoming day or week in advance and update the list with changes as they arise. Not only will a single, up-to-date to-do list keep you more focused, but it will give your colleagues an easy reference point in case you’re unexpectedly out of the office.
Use One Central Calendar
Have you ever forgotten about a meeting because you put an appointment in your Google calendar, but only checked your iCal or your desktop calendar on the day of the appointment? Make this a non-issue by using one central calendar and sticking to it. Whether you receive information about an appointment over email, phone or word-of-mouth, immediately make note of it in a single appointment-keeping document or program. For more flexibility, choose a calendar that syncs across devices, so you can access your schedule on your computer, tablet or smartphone – eliminating any need for multiple records.
Declutter Your Desk
It’s hard to focus on the task at hand when you have to reach over a pile of papers and pens to access your keyboard. Keep paper piles at bay by switching over to electronic files whenever possible. If you’ve gone overboard on office supplies, consider which items you really need to have within arm’s reach. Supplies that you haven’t used in the past few weeks can probably be stored elsewhere to free up more room in your workspace.
What are you go-to tips when you need to get organized at work? Share them in the comments below.