It is easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re not organized and have deadlines approaching. That stress is not only bad for your health—it’s also bad for your productivity. Getting organized will make your day easier and more constructive. Depending on the state of your workspace, getting organized can feel like a job in itself. Like any other big project, you just need to tackle it little by little until it’s done. Here are five tips that can help get you started.
1 – Get some sleep
It’s no secret that if you don’t get enough sleep, you aren’t going to perform at your best. To that end, it’s harder to stay organized and have a productive day if you didn’t get in an adequate amount of sleep the previous night. In fact, a lack of sleep is costing the United States billions in productivity. Be sure to get a consistent amount of sleep each night to be ready to tackle the day.
2 – Use a planner
Having a daily calendar is a great way to get organized and stay on track with your tasks. Many people keep their appointments and deadlines in their cell phones, but others prefer to jot their projects down in a traditional planner. It doesn’t matter where you store this information as long as it is handy. Check your planner at the end of each day to make sure you are prepared for any early morning meetings and don’t forget to look a week ahead in your planner each morning to stay on top of upcoming deadlines. Knowing what’s coming up will also help reduce stress and anxiety because you will be able to plan ahead for the meetings and projects.
3 – Get rid of clutter
It’s pretty hard to get things done when you can’t find anything. Set some time aside to organize your desk. Go through those piles of papers and toss anything you don’t need. Organize your remaining documents into 3-ring business binders. For monthly or annual projects, create more personalized binders like those from Company Folders. Not only will it help you get organized by making things easier to find, it will also add a professional look to your project. Depending on the status of your workspace, this might take a little time but will be worth it in the end.
Don’t stop at paperwork when tidying up. Reducing digital clutter can also be a big help. Create folders to sort important emails in your inbox. Delete unneeded voice messages, too. Clean up your computer’s desktop by creating a filing system for those documents. Reducing unnecessary electronic messages can make you feel less overwhelmed and stressed, which will help increase your productivity.
4 – Take a break
While it might seem like working straight through the day is more productive, it actually isn’t. Breaks are necessary for physical and mental health, and ultimately help you succeed at your job. Sitting for too long can hurt your neck and back, and standing for too long hurts your feet, legs and back. In addition, focusing too long on the same task can tire your brain out. Getting up from the computer once and a while, also helps your eyes rehydrate and relax. Breaks allow you to refocus on your work and look at it with fresh eyes.
5 – Do one thing at a time
The word multi-tasking gives the meaning of working on more than one task at a time, which implies high productivity, but that’s really not the case. When you multi-task, you’re not really working on multiple things at once; you’re continuously switching tasks without finishing one first. This means you’re not focused on one project and you’re actually working distracted, which can slow down your efforts and leave more room for mistakes. Instead, focus your efforts on one project at a time until it is complete. At the beginning of each day, look at your schedule and projects due and decide where you need to focus your time on the day.
There are different levels of the organization; what is organized for some might not be for others. The important thing is that you know your system and it helps you get your work done on time. If your system leaves you looking for items and missing deadlines, it’s broken and needs to be fixed. Hopefully, these tips helped you develop a process that is organized and boosts your daily productivity.
Do you have other tips? Leave them in the comments below.