21 Tips To Get More Organized at Work
Becoming organized at work will make your job a lot easier. You’ll have more time on your hands, you’ll get more done, and your job satisfaction will begin to improve.
We’ll go over a few simple tips to help you become more organized at work in this post. One of the keys is to use the tips below that stand out. Instead of using them all at once, use one tip at a time. When you’re comfortable with the method, then move on to the next.
Let’s get started with a few tips to get you started on the path to becoming organized at work!
1. Make a Decision:
Becoming organized isn’t difficult, but it does require a commitment. When you commit, there’s no going back, so it’s time to decide if you’re going to move forward. So, commit that from this moment on, you’re going to start getting organized.
Once you have committed, it’s no longer a desire or an idea. It’s now a process, and it’s time to take action.
2. Prepare for Work the Night Before:
The first step to organizing your day starts at home. When you’re off to a good start in the morning, your day usually moves in that direction. But, have you ever noticed those days when you get up late? You’re in a rush, and you start to make a lot of mistakes like forgetting something as you’re walking out the door or dropping something because you’re in a hurry?
Doesn’t the rest of your day seem to go like your morning?
You need to take a few minutes before you go to sleep and prepare for the next day.
If you have a computer and a briefcase or knapsack, make sure you prepare those before going to bed. First, pack everything up, and double-check you haven’t missed anything. Then, place your briefcase in a suitable area, whether on the kitchen table or near the door.
Next, prepare the items you’ll need for your breakfast. Next, lay out the clothing that you’re going to wear for the next day.
Now you have taken care of all the physical elements. It’s time to make a note of anything important that you need to remember for work. It could be an important meeting, a project you have to work on, or anything to keep in mind for the next day.
Now you’re prepared for most of the things you’ll need for the next day. Using this simple 5-10 minute technique, You can wake up and have a quiet morning and time to have a cup of coffee, breakfast, or whatever you want. You’ll start your day prepared and ready to go.
3. Dress Appropriately:
When you look professional, you’ll feel professional, and at the same time, you’ll feel organized. But, on the other hand, when you’re dressed out of place and sense it, you don’t feel like you’re in control or organized, and a lot of your focus is on the way you’re dressed.
These days, many companies have a casual dress code. Even though you’re free to wear what you want, dress appropriately for your line of work. It’s a part of looking and feeling organized.
4. Prepare For Your Day Early:
It’s important to plan your day. When you prepare ahead of time, you’ll gain an idea of what your day will be like. In addition, on a subconscious level, your mind is working and processing the best way to get things done, which is another reason to plan out your day as one of the first things you do.
You may use a scheduling app, use your phone, a simple to-do list, or create something on paper. The method doesn’t matter as long as you plan.
5. Make Use of Time Management Techniques:
Time management techniques will keep you ahead of schedule to save you valuable time. Time is a valuable asset, and once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. You can always make more money, but you can never get back the time you spent.
When you focus on time management, you may be able to save countless hours of wasted time every month!
Even if you saved a few minutes a day, that’s a lot of time for more productive things.
If you want, look at my article on time management techniques that are simple and easy to use.
6. Focus on What You Are Doing:
When you’re working on something and thinking about something else, your work suffers, and it takes longer to complete the job. So it’s important to think about what you’re doing while you’re doing it.
Sometimes, if I complete a job while thinking of other things, I’ll need to go over the work again. I’ll ask myself, did I miss anything? Since I wasn’t focused on the task at hand, it’s difficult to determine if I completed everything correctly.
It’s a lot of backtracking and wasted time. However, when I’m focused, I never backtrack, and the job is completed in less time.
7. Create a Routine:
Routines are a great way to get things done that you have to do daily. For example, every day, you have to create a report. You can create a routine so it will feel like an automated process.
Set your start time. Create any steps that you need to take and note how long it should take. Once you start the task every day and have memorized the steps, it becomes a routine that you don’t have to give much thought to.
Some people get bored with routines because you’re doing the same thing over and over again every day. But a routine helps you stay organized and get your most important work completed quickly and effectively. Think of a routine as a way to program your mind and stay on track.
8. Use a Schedule:
Use a schedule to help you stay on track. Instead of keeping all your appointment to memory, use a schedule and clear your mind to focus on more important issues.
Most scheduling apps will remind you of the appointments ahead of time. While letting you know if there is a scheduling conflict with another appointment.
A schedule is an important tool to help organize your day and improve your overall organizational skills.
9. Prepare for Meetings:
When You’re Invited to a Meeting:
It’s a great idea to look at the meeting agenda if it’s available. Gather any information that you may need to become active during the meeting and provide feedback.
Take your phone, laptop, or notepad to take notes. You’ll also want to bring any reports or data that you may need.
Take a few minutes to prepare and arrive a couple of minutes early.
When You’re Running the Meeting:
Do all the prep work beforehand. Below are a few of the issues you may need to address:
- Create a meeting agenda and include all the points you want to go over, then send it to the attendees, so they can prepare.
- For each item on your meeting agenda, write down some key points to cover. Make a note of how long each point should take.
- Decide if you will allow questions, answers, and input from the attendees during or at the end of the presentation.
- Keep your meeting short and to the point. Everyone is busy and doesn’t want to waste time on issues that don’t really matter or concern them.
- If you’re using a screen to present your meeting, test it ahead of time to make sure your equipment is working correctly.
- Make sure you have all the data required and organized before the meeting so that you’ll be able to refer to it if needed.
- If you are asked a question that needs more information, don’t waste time trying to get that information unless absolutely necessary. Instead, say I’ll look into that and get back to you.
- Take notes on the issues you need to follow up on. Don’t try and keep everything in memory. You want to focus on what’s going on, not what you have to remember.
10. Eliminate Clutter:
Clutter the one factor that destroys productivity. Having a lot of clutter is the opposite of being organized. Therefore, you must eliminate clutter in your work area, desk, computer, and related devices.
Getting rid of clutter is as simple as putting everything in a box and throwing it out. The only problem is you may be throwing out something important. And that could be the reason why clutter exists in the first place.
You can remove clutter by creating three separate piles.
- Pile 1 – Important Items
- Pile 2 – Disposable Items
- Pile 3 – Undecided Items
Let’s go over each pile next:
Pile 1 – Important Items:
This pile is easy because you know what’s important, and you can put everything you need to keep in this pile.
Pile 2 – Disposable Items:
This pile is easy to build because you know what you can throw out without worrying about it.
Pile 3 – Undecided Items:
This is where you’ll put the items that you may need but aren’t sure yet. Or items that you need to keep for a little while longer and dispose of later.
Go through your desk and workspace:
Now it’s time to go through your desk and workspace and put everything in the appropriate pile.
When you’re finished, you’ll have three piles. The first thing to do is throw out the garbage pile, then you will have two piles left. Next, take the undecided pile and store it somewhere where you can easily access it. I wouldn’t spend too much time on it because you will probably be throwing a lot of it away when the time comes.
Take some time to decide how and where you want to store your important items. For example, should you buy cabinets or shelves? Do you have some you can use?
Once I had to organize 4 large cabinets in my office. I took a half-hour every day to handle this task. I purchased plastic organizers and labeled everything! I was finished in about one week. It’s been about eight years, and everything is still organized. All that’s required is going through the cabinets to get rid of items no longer needed.
11. Have a Designated Place for Everything:
Having a designated place for everything will improve your productivity. Instead of wasting time looking for something, you’ll spend that time getting the job done. Proof of this is a system called 5S that large corporations use to organize operations and boost productivity.
The origin of the term is made up of five Japanese words:
In English, think of the following:
- Set in Order
If major corporations use this system, you can see the benefit of having a place for everything, whether a manufacturing plant or your home office.
You can take it one step further by labeling the items and the shelf or cabinet. If you have many items, you can create a searchable document that allows you to locate anything you need in seconds. Think of it as a small inventory program to keep you on track.
12. Make Your Workspace Work for You:
It’s important to modify your workspace to work for you.
I have seen a lot of businesses in operation. One story I can share with you is about a computer station I noticed in a manufacturing plant.
The computer sat on top of a storage cabinet. The keyboard and mouse were in a section that was just about 14 inches long. The operator put the mouse in front of the keyboard rather than next to it. With that type of setup, how can a user operate the computer effectively? There’s no room.
Set up your equipment in a way that’s organized, user-friendly, and makes sense. If you’re tight on space, either move the equipment or move the items taking up space. You can always move things around for a better setup.
If you’re the only one using the equipment, optimizing the area and the setup is easy according to your preference. But, if not, get some feedback from other users to get ideas and make a group decision.
13. Organize Your Desk Space:
Your desk should be optimized for your working preference. You should have enough room to operate your keyboard and mouse comfortably. There shouldn’t be any clutter on your desk.
For example, there’s no use having your stapler binders, stapler remover, calculator, and other office items all on your desk when you’re not using them. It creates clutter. You can use your top drawer for your most used items, and it’s easy to get the items and return them when they’re in the top drawer.
Your desk should only contain those items you use while at your desk. If it’s used as a storage area, then you’ll have a problem with clutter. If possible, store the items you don’t regularly use somewhere else.
14. Digitize Your Records:
You may have a lot of records that you have to keep for various reasons.
When you digitize all your documents, you’ll save a lot of space. You’ll be able to store them on your hard drive. You can even store a backup on the cloud.
Another advantage of digitizing your documents is that you can search for them using keywords.
When you save your documents, you want to save them using a keyword, which allows you to locate the document using the search function of your operating system.
Organize Your Digital Files:
Organize your digital files in a way that makes sense. For example, name one financials. Inside that folder, you would create a folder for the current year. In the current year folder, you have a folder for each month. For each month, you would file reports and important documents for that month.
For example, the next folder would be sales. Inside the sales folder, you could create folders for customers or by sales category.
Another folder inside your main financial folder would be expenses. Thus, in your expense folder, you would have folders for each type of expense.
When you organize your filing system in folders and subfolders, it’s easy to organize all your documents. You’ll know where to retrieve files and where to store them because it’s organized.
15. Utilize Available Tools and Organizers:
Many tools and Organizers on the market will help you get organized. My favorites include:
- A portable label maker
- A Dymo label maker
- A wide variety of containers
- Desk and shelf organizers
- Decorative Cabinets
- Zip Ties
16. Creating Storage Space:
You may not have a storage room or an area in your workplace to help you organize and store your items. Instead, you can create a storage area. A couple of ideas include purchasing cabinets, shelves or even creating a storage bin solution.
When you have a designated area to store your items, organizing your area is a lot easier. Have a look at the latest Google search results for office storage ideas.
17. Becoming Mindful of Organizing:
You can improve your organizational skills by focusing on organizational improvement. When you’re in somebody else’s office, department, or house, take a quick look around to identify where there is room for improvement.
You may find clutter on the desk, boxes in the corner. You may see an opportunity for a storage area, etc. Thinking this way is like flexing a muscle. The more you do it, the stronger you become. This technique is not meant to be something you become obsessed with, nor am I suggesting you organize someone else’s area. It’s just something you can do to build your skill.
18. Manage Notifications, Messages, and Emails
Notifications can help you stay on track and keep you from missing important tasks, meetings, and follow-ups. You can receive notifications from various apps like email, a reminder app, or your scheduling app. You may want to use multiple apps or just one. The key is using something that works.
Organize Your Inbox
Email is still one of the most effective communication tools. It’s important to organize your inbox. You don’t want thousands of emails sitting in your inbox. Instead, designate folders or tags to organize your emails.
Even though you can use the search function to locate an email, sometimes you can’t remember what you’re searching for, but you can remember the sender or topic. When emails are organized in folders, it helps to easily store and retrieve emails as needed.
19. Follow up:
Following up on issues as soon as possible is a good way to stay on top of things. Use your scheduling software to help you follow up with issues on time.
For example, you had an issue with an employee that was in training. You want to follow up with them after two weeks. Rather than leave it to memory. You can schedule an appointment with the points you want to discuss.
Setting up the follow up takes a minute or two, and the app will remind you. The more you follow up with any issue, the more you’ll be on top of things.
Delegation is an important skill that can help you stay organized and improve productivity. When you delegate tasks, you can get more work complete vs. doing everything yourself. In addition, you can make better use of time by delegating while you manage and plan.
Delegating some tasks can be better if you have qualified people to do the job.
For example, if you need research completed, delegating that research to someone talented in that field is a much better option than doing it yourself and rushing through the task because you are pressed on time.
Planning is one of the most important factors when it comes to improving your organizational skills. Planning allows you to focus. It allows you to see things through before taking action.
Develop your skills to plan effectively, and it will help instantly improve your level of organization.
Planning doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as using a piece of paper and laying out the steps and ideas. You can use software to help you plan if you prefer that. It doesn’t matter how you process your planning as long as you plan before you act.
Becoming organized is something achievable. It’s not difficult, but it is rewarding.
In summary, becoming organized falls under the following:
- Having a place for everything
- Returning items to their proper location
- Knowing where everything is
- Managing your time
- Updating and sticking to your schedule.
- Following up with issues that need your attention
Use the tips that stand out most for you and put them to use starting today. Once you’re on the path to becoming organized, you’ll wish you’ve done it sooner because suddenly, your productivity has improved. Others will start to notice how organized you are and may tell you. It happens to me all the time!