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Five Ways To Be More Organized At Work

Five Tips for Improving Organization Strategies

Many people make New Year’s Resolutions at this time of year, often resolving to lose weight, get in better shape or save more money. In a recent survey of employees, workers ranked wanting to “become more organized” at work among their top goals for 2015.
 
As most people spend at least half of their waking hours at work, this certainly is a relevant goal. Here are five useful tips to help you become more organized at work.

 

1. Clean and organize your workspace. This is the first step because if your workspace is cluttered and messy, it will be hard to organize anything else. Start with overstuffed drawers and file cabinets — go through them and throw away or shred any papers and files that you no longer need. Do the same thing with files and papers that may be stashed on bookshelves or simply stacked in the corner.

 
Next, tackle your desk. The only things that should be on your desktop are items you need for the projects you’re working on right now. Finally, purge your in-box by making a decision about what to do with each piece of paper that’s in it: use it now, file it for later or trash it.
 

2. Use to-do lists, a daily planner and/or a computerized calendar. These are the best ways to prioritize your work projects and keep track of meetings and other appointments. Different people have different preferences when it comes to using to-do lists — some prefer an old-fashioned legal pad and pencil or pen, while others would rather create and manage their list on the computer. Use whatever system works best for you.

 
Many people today use the calendar function within their email program (like Microsoft Outlook, for example) to manage their daily meetings and appointments and receive automatic reminders. Still others prefer a daily planning book or desk calendar. Again, there’s no right or wrong method as long as you are using some system to help keep your appointments and meetings organized.
 

3. Set daily and weekly priorities based on your to-do list and deadlines. With an up-to-date to-do list in hand, you can now prioritize your work projects and tasks based on their deadlines. Priorities can be divided into three different categories: short-term (daily), medium-term (weekly) and long-term (monthly or quarterly). This will help you stay focused on multiple tasks with different timeframes and adjust your priorities each day based on what tasks are most pressing now, while still keeping your eye on the long term.

 

4. Divide your time and energy between small, short-term projects, and larger, longer-term projects. Setting priorities based on different time horizons will enable you to spend time working on both short-term and long-term projects. This can provide variation in the different types of work you do during the day, as well as satisfaction in being able to cross short-term projects off your to-do list while making progress toward longer-term projects with deadlines that are weeks or months out.

 

5. Stay focused on the task at hand. This can be especially challenging in the fast-paced, hectic work environment most of us experience every day. You might have multiple priorities screaming for your attention all day long, as well as interruptions like meetings to attend, phone messages to return and emails to reply to.

 
To the greatest extent possible, though, you should try to keep your work focus on one thing at a time. While multi-tasking is a skill that’s often applauded, it’s usually more effective to laser focus on the task that’s in front of you right now and finish it to the best of your ability before moving on to something else. For lengthier work that’s more timely to complete, consider designating a specific time block that you’ll spend on a project before moving on to other work.
 
Make a resolution today to put these tips into practice in order to become more organized at work this year.
 
For more helpful information about running your business, visit Cadence Bank Fresh Insights.

 

This article is provided as a free service to you and is for general informational purposes only. Cadence Bank makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the content in the article. The article is not intended to provide legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes.

 



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