14 Tips for Organization of Work (Tools and Examples)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published January 3, 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Organization of work is a vital trait every professional can practise, no matter their industry or company of employment. It can help you define priorities, focus on tasks, and increase productivity. There are different organizational approaches to suit various work styles, and applying them to your daily routines can help you advance your career. In this article, we examine why organization of work is essential, and offer 14 tips you can start practising to maximize your work output.
Why is organization of work important?
Organization of work is important because it can help increase the quality and efficiency of your work, and it creates positive impressions with your supervisors, coworkers, and clients. It improves your time management skills, which can lead to a reduction in work-related stress.
For example, sometimes at work, you may need to reference an old email for specific information, and you can find that email more easily when you actively organize your inbox. Or suppose you have a meeting with a new client in your office. By keeping your office organized and neat, you are more likely to make a good first impression.
Tips for work organization
Whether you work in an office or share a communal area with your coworkers, practising proper organization is beneficial to the whole team. It can help improve and advance your career in various ways, and it may even inspire others to follow your example. Here's a list of 14 organizational work tips to start practising:
Goals can help establish a step-by-step guide of tasks to accomplish. These goals should be achievable, and you can divide them between long-term and short-term goals. Consider adding details and specificity to these goals to maintain priorities and create a seamless workflow.
Related: Setting Goals to Improve Your Career
It can help your productivity to integrate your goals into a weekly schedule. Create a plan with clearly defined tasks to complete each day to accomplish your weekly goal. At the end of each week, take 20 minutes or longer if necessary to draft the following week's goals. This approach fosters a sense of continual progress, which can help you stay motivated. It also functions as a helpful guide that you can reference each day.
Focus on one goal
It's common to want to multitask to complete more work, but focusing on one task can help you be more productive in your work. An effective way to achieve your goals is to focus on and pursue one objective at a time. This method allows you to prioritize your time and energy on the most important or time-sensitive tasks. By focusing your attention on one goal, you can employ your attention to detail to ensure accuracy in your work. This strategy ensures the completion of each goal, which provides you with more time to start the next task.
Use an agenda
Agendas are valuable tools that can help assess your work organization and productivity. Use an agenda to write down specific deadlines and important events in detail. With this strategy, you can stay aware of due dates and develop plans of action to meet your goals or prepare yourself for important meetings. Agendas come in varying formats and divisions, with some featuring space for day-to-day activities and others providing space to visualize weekly or monthly schedules. Whether you choose to have a physical or digital agenda, ensure it's easy to access and organize.
Clean your desk
Depending on the type of job you have, your primary workspace may be at a desk. Keeping your desk clean is essential to your work output and ability to focus. The more organized your workspace, the easier it can be to focus on your tasks. Consider filing unneeded papers in a filing cabinet, removing or storing unnecessary office supplies, and keeping only the essential tools on your desk. A well-maintained desk can also help make a positive impression on whoever visits you. Consider cleaning your desk at the end of each day to make the process easier to maintain.
Dedicate a time for email
You can be more productive when focusing your attention on tasks without the distraction of regular email notifications. Consider dedicating a specific time within your day to answering your email communications. It can range from 30 minutes to an hour, or you may choose to set several dedicated periods throughout the day if you receive many emails. This strategy can help you focus more easily on your tasks throughout the day, and improve productivity.
Clean your inbox
It's common for the number of emails in your inbox to increase over time, and it's easier to keep your inbox organized if you regularly review it. A practical solution is to schedule a time every four to six months to clean up your inbox. You can add it to your calendar, or even send yourself an automated email as a reminder. Check your oldest emails, consider keeping only the most important ones, and deleting the ones that aren't relevant. Through this practice, you can maintain an organized inbox.
Have deadlines and accountability
Setting up deadlines is a crucial component in ensuring you dedicate the necessary time to focus on a particular project, task, or goal. Deadlines can also help other departments or teams create schedules and collaborate with you more easily. With deadlines comes accountability, and to succeed as a professional, holding yourself accountable is vital. Accountability encourages you to monitor your progress, performance, and find areas of improvement. You can also develop an accountability system with your clients or coworkers by holding regular meetings.
Distractions are common in every job, and they may disrupt your workflow or reduce productivity. It's helpful first to determine the source of these distractions, whether it's a talkative coworker, your phone's notifications, or outside noises if your workspace is near a window. For example, you can silence your phone when trying to focus on a particular task, or listen to music with headphones to block outside noises.
Whether you're working in a warehouse, office space, or remotely from home, setting boundaries can help you maintain work efficiency and stay motivated. Boundaries encompass various applications, such as establishing boundaries between yourself and your job, to develop a healthy work life balance. Another example is ensuring family members know when you're working from home so they can let you focus. To ensure the proper management of your boundaries, communicate them clearly to the associated individuals.
Talk to coworkers directly
While sending emails between coworkers throughout the day is easy, sometimes, these communications can lead to long email threads. A practical solution is to speak to someone directly instead of emailing when possible. Consider calling or walking to your coworker's desk and having a conversation about the topic you want to discuss. By combining potential written correspondences into a single discussion, you may understand what to do or how to proceed more quickly. It can also help you build better interpersonal relationships with your colleagues.
Breaks are a vital component of every job because they provide an opportunity to detach yourself physically and mentally from work. It's helpful to understand how to maximize the effects of taking breaks. Leave your workspace during lunchtime, go for a short walk, and seek environments that can provide you with a mental break. By distancing yourself from work, you can reset your focus and motivation.
Find the right tools
There are numerous available tools you can use to maintain work organization and productivity. These tools include task management and reporting, ticketing solutions, templates, time tracking formulas, and spreadsheets. It's helpful to consider your work and determine which of the organizational tools are the right one for you. If they're easy to use, save you time, and allow you to collaborate more efficiently with your coworkers, consider integrating these tools into your work.
Consider going paperless to reduce the number of supplies you may have around your workspace. Sometimes these supplies can clutter your desk and make it challenging to find specific pieces of information. By centralizing all your documents and contacts into a digital device or platform of your choosing, you can have easy access to them from any location. This can also make them quicker to find with automated digital tools like computer search functions. It's an effective way to reclaim your time because you can devote that time to performing your tasks and increasing your work output.
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