Career Advice--Stay Organized at Work


Staying organized is essential to survive in the workplace. Not only does it reduce stress, but it helps you be more efficient– It’s a win, win! Try out these 4 easy tips for staying organized at work.


1. Prioritize

Get rid of the clutter and focus on what’s important! Whatever it is you wish to accomplish in a day, week, or month, you need to make these goals a priority or they’ll be left behind. By doing so, you will see progress and you’ll be able to tackle each goal more efficiently – with greater success!


2. Clean Your Desk

Tired of wasting time looking for stuff? You’d be surprised what a clean desk can do for your productivity! After all, staying organized at work can help increase your professional image — a messy desk could prevent you from landing a managerial position! Start by dedicating 30 minutes a week to throwing out unnecessary papers and organizing documents. Find a system that works for you and stick with it. In time, you’ll have a stronger sense of control over your work space and tasks.


3. Don’t Forget about Your Digital Work Space

Depending on your industry, most of your work and materials may be digital, not physical. So even if your work area is super neat, you may still have a lot of organizing to do with your virtual desktop. Think back to the last time a manager requested a document from you, and you scrambled to find it on your computer desktop or shared drive. Chances are, poor folder organization was the time-sucking culprit. Get a handle on the issue once and for all by carving out some time (perhaps a Friday afternoon) to reorganize and rename folders, and delete or archive any inactive documents – just make sure to communicate your process to anyone who may be impacted to mitigate confusion.


4. Make Time For Your Calendar

Organize your calendar! One way to keep your work life organized is by thoughtfully scheduling your tasks each day and week. Be mindful of your energy and creative levels: if you’re someone who is sharp and alert in the morning, plan your toughest tasks in the AM. Think about the natural rhythm of work in your department: if Wednesdays are always crazy, schedule a buffer to help you handle the pandemonium (e.g. a 30 minute block of time in the AM and PM). And always have a list of back-up tasks (in order of priority) on the off-chance that the day is quieter than expected. At all costs, avoid multi-tasking like the plague. Focusing on one task at a time will help you get things done faster, will increase your sense of accomplishment, and will demonstrate to others that you indeed have the laser-like focus and determination that are so characteristic of successful people.