Podcast Episode 125 — How to Stay Organized and Productive at Work
Today I want to talk about how to stay organized and productive at work.
Being organized and productive are attributes appreciated by bosses and clients alike, and even if you work for yourself, they will help your workdays run smoothly and ensure you get your work done on time. Here are my top tips for staying organized and productive at work:
This should go without saying, but your workspace should be clean and clutter-free. Take all knick-knacks that can be distracting off your desk. Toss paper coffee cups. Consolidate all of your sticky notes onto one piece of paper, or put the information into an electronic document so it can’t be lost.
Make sure you have a recycle bin and trash can under or near your desk, and ensure that all trash and recycle materials get into the proper receptacles. Create files for errant papers, and put them in your drawer instead of in a messy pile on your desk. You should only have the file you’re working with on your desk.
Address your emails timely, and organize them as appropriate.
I don’t mean every time you get a notification that one has come in you should stop what you’re doing and handle it. Instead, schedule a time, at least twice daily, to focus on responding to emails — and only address your emails during that scheduled time. When working on your emails, don’t read them and think you’ll act on them later. Do it during your assigned email time and get them out of your inbox.
Use folders to organize your emails. Have one for each client or project, one for personal emails, and one for action items (you could call it the “to-do” folder). Any emails that need your attention and that cannot be addressed during your email time should be put into the “to-do” folder. You might also want to schedule a daily time to handle the items in your “to-do” folder.
Remember to delete spam, junk, and unimportant emails daily too.
Schedule breaks — or you won’t take them.
This probably isn’t an issue if you work for someone else because there are usually set break times. But if you work…