How to stay organized at work
When it comes to being organized at your day job, it sometimes seems impossible. Your emails are always overflowing and all you want to do is dream about that cocktail that you will be having later with your friends. I remember when I first started to get jobs that were pertaining to my ultimate career goals. I felt like I was already the most organized person in the world coming straight out of college and I thought working would be the same. Not so much.
For school, you knew what assignments were coming up, and you had an idea of how many hours you needed to spend on an assignment. For work, especially freelance work, it's a little bit different. You have to accept surprises and sporadic bumps in the road. But if you feel completely passionate about what you are doing, then all of that will feel like baby humps that you can easily walk over. To help with the stresses of everyday work, it really makes sense to try to keep yourself organized with your workflow. I personally love to take Sundays to keep things organized for my week ahead. It sounds crazy, but planning is my brunch. But in addition to planning, there are plenty of ways to keep organized. Here are six ways you can keep yourself leveled and productive.
1.Try Not To Multitask
This might sound counterproductive, but it's actually the correct way to work. If you are solely only focusing on one task at hand, you will actually complete it much faster than working on multiple projects. According to an Entrepreneur article, University of California information scientist Gloria Mark found that it takes an average of 26 minutes to recover from trivial interruptions. That's kind of insane when you really think about it. Try to plan out your work day so you don't have to complete two assignments at once. You will feel less stressed out and more confident in the work you are trying to produce.
2. Have A Planner
... or maybe five, but either way, you need to have at least one. Some people prefer Google Calendar, while others prefer the old-school pen and paper. I, for one, love having both. Google Calendar sends me notifications, and while physically writing my day out, helps me remember my task much better. Make sure you take a single day to go over your work plans for the coming week. It will help you remember what is due, and keep things organized, so you won't have any surprising appointments you completely forgot about.
3. Write A List Of Your Tasks For The Day
If there is one thing that I will never get tired of, it is writing a list. It helps me focus my mind and schedules my day out so I know what exactly I need to focus on first. The work load in the office can seem daunting, but writing a list everyday before you go to bed is actually beneficial for you. It will help release any worries of uncompleted assignments you think you might forget and it will give you a jumpstart to your day in the morning.
Not only will it keep you more organized, but it will boost your brainpower, too. According to Dr. Cynthia Green who wrote a guest post on the blog The List Producer all about how list-making can save your brain, the simple act of creating a list uses part of your brain that you normally might not use. It will enhance it in ways that will benefit you and your workload. It's essentially a win-win.
4. Make Sure To Take Breaks
For most Americans, we actually feel guilty taking breaks throughout our work shift. We sometimes feel if and when we do, we actually lose time during our day to complete the mountain-size load of work. But it's actually really important to take that 30-minute lunch break to keep sane and organized. In an One Thing article that references David Levitin, a neuroscientist and author of The Organized Mind, he states that taking a break actually allows one to daydream. Daydreaming frees your mind of any work impurities and transcends your mind to be more open and might actually give you a boost in production. Not bad, huh?
5. Turn The Notifications Off On Your Phone
This might seem like a no-brainer, but notifications are pretty distracting, especially when you are at work. It automatically makes your mind have major FOMO, and now you can't refocus on the task at hand tow which then, you become unorganized. Oh, and you think just by ignoring them that they will go away? Nope. According to an article in The Atlantic, a new study from three researchers at Florida State University found that just by receiving a notification is just as distracting as responding to a text message or a phone call. The study was conducted for 150 students to complete a test where the first time they took it, they didn't get get notifications, but the second time, they did. Afterwards, they have concluded that just by receiving a push notification, it even affected the students' performance while on an assignment. Basically: Just put the phone away.
6. Make Sure Your Desk Is Clean
A clean desk is a happy desk. An organized desk will look pretty and you will know where everything is, but on a bigger note, it will keep you completely organized with your mind and your things. According to an article on Forbes, a report by OfficeMax found that office clutter undermines productivity and motivation. “Your performance coincides with your workspace,” said Dede. “When it’s organized and precise you have the mindset and motivation to work.” If you are stressing out about your desk, you can't really focus on the work that is in front of you. That is why a lot of freelancers have their own office space or go to coffee shops, to get their mind centered and aware from the house mess they have might.
So when Monday rolls around, let these tips keep your head leveled and your work ethic strong. Sooner than you realized, you will be having your work completed and out the door for happy hour in no time!