There’s no denying the fact that American workplaces hurtle forward at a relentless pace. For many workers, “checking out” at the end of the work day is no longer an option. While this can be stressful, sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it for a myriad of reasons – workplace culture, job responsibilities, coworker troubles, etc. The best course of action? Stay as organized as you possibly can. Here are six ways to stay organized at work, making your life more productive and less stressful.
- Start out with a morning “declutter” session. Go through emails and respond to the ones that only require a short answer. File others away for a more thorough response later. Clear out junk mail and then tackle your priority.
- Schedule break time. Your brain can’t possibly be firing on all cylinders at all times. If you need to, put a 10-minute walk on your calendar, or a coffee break after a long meeting, or even a 20-minute nap in your car during lunch. Forcing your brain to think about something other than work will help you focus better when you need to.
- Limit the amount of times you check your email. Only look at your email at set points during the day. Maybe this is every half hour, every hour, or just three times a day (depending on your workplace culture.) This ensures you stay focused on the task at hand and minimizes the possibility of an interruption.
- Use the phone or face-to-face communication when possible. Talking through projects and issues is much easier without an endless string of emails. If documentation is needed, send a quick recap email afterward.
- Reduce your meeting times. You’ll eliminate unnecessary chit-chat and get to the point quickly. Aim for a 25% reduction.
- Checklists are your friend. Use them, even for seemingly mundane tasks you do every day. This reduces the likelihood that you’ll slip up when you’re overworked or in a time crunch. Checklists also give you a visual way to determine priorities.
Got any other organization tips for the harried worker? Leave them here!