Increasing productivity is a hot topic in the workplace today, and you should view disorganization as your biggest nemesis for accomplishing your goals. While mindfulness and going to bed early are always effective for helping you stay on task, it is also important to look at how you structure your environment and day. Often, it’s the little things like failing to define your goals that interfere with your ability to get things done. As you set up your organizational system, use these tips to streamline your day so that you operate at peak efficiency.
Start the Day By Checking Your Correspondence
Those last minute meetings or requests for information can really mess up your day. For this reason, you should always pencil in a little “me time” in your morning so that you can catch up on any correspondence that came in overnight. Grab your morning beverage of choice, and look over your emails and memos. Then, add any events for the day to your lifestyle planner before you forget.
Some experts disagree. Some will tell you that you should check your email after 2-3 hours of highly productive work. Do what works best for you.
Consolidate Your Information Resources
While smartphone apps are great for sending alerts, it gets cumbersome having to log in and out of separate ones. For this reason, successful professionals know that going back to the basics simplifies their work because writing everything down in one place saves time when they need to research an important contact or review their meeting notes. In addition to using your lifestyle planner for scheduling purposes, consolidate by jotting down notes and other information that is pertinent to your work.
Clear the Clutter
It’s a classic productivity tip but worth mentioning because you may not realize how many distractions fill your day. Start by clearing your desk of any nonessentials. That stack of reference books may make you look busy, but you don’t need them taking up space if you don’t use them everyday. Once your physical space is organized, move on to your electronic resources. Set up your email so that junk goes where it should, and delete unnecessary files from your computer.
Practice Time Blocking
Being organized at work means more than just being able to find your paperclips. Focusing on time management is an essential component of workplace organization. If you constantly find yourself struggling to meet deadlines, consider blocking off sections of time during your day to work on specific tasks. This practice not only ensures that you spend time on each item on your to-do list, but it also generates a sense of urgency by giving you a deadline for completing each action.
Create a Success List
To-Do lists have long been viewed as an effective organizational tool. However, it is important to use them correctly. Simply writing down things such as to email your colleague or make that presentation for a meeting does little more than giving you the satisfaction of marking it off your list. In fact, many of the things most people write down could be done within the time it takes to write it. Instead, use your to-do list to plan out only the goals you need to successfully complete your projects. While they may span several weeks or months, this list should serve as a driving force for each day.
The fast-paced work environments today mean that staying organized is crucial for accomplishing your goals. While you may not be able to stop every interruption, you can make sure you stay on track by emphasizing the importance of utilizing every second of your time effectively.