Organization for Productivity: Tips for Boosting Productivity by Getting Organized

It’s no secret that being organized can help boost productivity while easing the burden of everyday-stressors. It’s not always easy when you’re a manager, however, because the vast quantity of paperwork and other materials you deal with on a day-to-day basis is enough to cover your entire office. If you’ve found you’re having a hard time remaining organized at work, these tips may be the answer to this overwhelming problem.

Everything Has a Place

No matter what type of business you manage, or even if you’re a department manager within a business, chances are you have several different types of paperwork floating around. Give everything a place. Don’t worry if you don’t have room for a large filing cabinet; other options are readily available at discount stores and online.

Paper trays, for example, can stack anywhere from two trays and upward. They’re barely longer and wider than a typical 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper, so you can have a dedicated place for commonly needed forms and other paperwork. Vertical paper trays that hang on a wall are another great option and can create even more space on your desk.

Too many pens, pencils, paperclips or boxes of staples? Try a magnetic strip for paperclips and loose rows of staples. Simple desk organizers can also tackle these small items. Want to go for the up-cycling approach? Use glass or plastic jars from home by cleaning them, removing the label and then labeling them with their new purposes. Another tip: only leave out what you’ll need in a short time. Store extra writing utensils and office items away to help keep your desk clutter free.

The Beauty of Labels

Labeling everything creates a sense of organization while also allowing you to quickly get what you need when you need it. Label makers are ideal for this purpose, but you can also use strips of used copy paper and tape. Labels are a great item to have when you share an office, as well, so that all parties can quickly find what they need whether they’re the ones that put them there or not.

Clean Up!

Cleaning your desk before you leave every night is a sure way to start the day fresh next time you come in. During your cleaning routine, go through the paperwork you have pending or in other files to ensure you’re not keeping anything you don’t need and that everything is in its new place. For example, if you have a pending folder, go through this first to file away anything that has since been completed.

These are just a few tips to help boost your productivity while giving you a clean, fresh work space. Having a clean, productive work zone is totally doable and doesn’t have to break the bank! 

Keeping Energized and Staying Fresh in Your Day-to-Day

Much of our work can become routine, if we don’t make an effort to keep it fresh and new. We may have the same deadlines, reports, tasks, and assignments week after week and month after month, that’s why it’s essential to find ways to stay energized and fresh in your day-to-day.

Staying fresh and energized in your work will not only help you to avoid burnout, but it will also keep you enjoying what you do and moving up the rankings within your organization.

Here are some ideas for how you can stay energized and fresh in your day-to-day

  • Try a different routine entirely (even drive a different route to work)
  • Learn the latest tools, tips, and shortcuts in your industry
  • Stay apprised of the changing software and technologies
  • Remember the reasoning behind some of the more routine tasks
  • Intersperse the tasks you love with those that don’t necessarily excite you to keep you engaged throughout the day
  • Learn something new
  • Take breaks throughout the day
  • Brainstorm and collaborate with colleagues

The energy around your work can be what differentiates you from the rest of the members on the team. While you may not need to be too overly enthusiastic, enjoying what you do and taking pride in your work goes a long with management, productivity and efficiency. Additionally, the more excited you are about your work, the greater the chances you have to end your day on a high note and have more energy for your leisure time after hours.

Now, we’d love to hear from you. What are some things you do to keep fresh and energized in your work? Let us know in the comments below.

Prioritizing Your Way to Productivity

Each and everyone of us are bombarded with email messages, phone calls, distractions and more. All of these things can be productivity killers and stop us from getting ahead at work.

Here are few tips in prioritizing your day to get more of the right stuff done.

1. Identify your urgent tendencies. The speed in which we can communicate by email, text, or phone sometimes gives off the impression that everything is urgent in today’s world. Yet, that’s simply not the case. Most matters are not urgent and don’t need to be handled right now, even though they may need attention within the next 24-48 hours. If something isn’t urgent, put it off to a dedicated time in your calendar to reply to matters that don’t require immediate attention, but do need some response.

2. Recognize your work patterns. Do you do what’s hardest, easiest, in front of you, what will move you ahead or something else? Whatever it is, you’ll find one big time stealer is your pattern of work. Whether that is checking emails incessantly and responding to those, doing the easier admin tasks, or getting immersed in one task that you loose track of time and miss deadlines on other projects. When you know your work patterns, you can begin to shift those to allocate specific time limits to some of your biggest time stealers.

3. Set boundaries. In order to prioritize your day to be more productive, you have to start with setting clear boundaries on your time. It’s easy to let time-thief’s creep in all day without even being aware that hours have passed by, but if you schedule or time block your day, you’ll be more productive on the tasks that have the biggest bang for your minutes.

4. Stay focused. Multi-tasking is not a tool of the productive, it’s a tool for those who are juggling too many unfinished projects and looming deadlines. When you are focused and work on just one task at a time, you’ll find that you achieve more in less time. Turn off all other distractions when working on a big project or task.

When you take the time to prioritize your day, you’ll find that you get more done with ease. You’ll also find yourself leaving the office every day feeling accomplished and ready for tomorrow.

What else do you do to prioritize your day? We’d love to know. Leave a comment below. 

Getting the Most Out of Your Day

We all work with the same 24-hour period every day, but have you ever wondered why some people get so much more done than others? When you become strategic about managing your time, you’ll find you can produce more and do it even faster.

To get the most out of your day, try these strategies:

1. Plan your day ahead. When you take time to plan your day the evening before, you are likely to be more efficient at the start of your day, setting the tone for higher productivity. Take a few minutes at the end of every day and identify what tasks need to be completed.

2. Prioritize your tasks. Know what tasks need to be done and what tasks don’t. Sometimes we have things on our to-do lists that never really need to be completed in the first place. Brian Tracy, time management expert says to “Eat that Frog,” meaning do the hardest tasks first. You’ll produce the greatest results when you start every day doing your most difficult and challenging tasks with the highest reward/benefit.

3. Quit multi-tasking. Multi-tasking used to be valued and still is by some managers and leaders. However, multi-tasking has now been proven to lower levels of efficiency and extend the length of time a project takes to be completed. If you find yourself multi-tasking throughout the day, stop, and redirect your focus. You’ll likely move through more of your tasks this way. We’ve been conditioned to respond and work on many things at one time, but once you recondition yourself to be more focused, you’ll notice a big difference in your mental clarity and ability to produce. If you need to retrain those around you to limit interruptions, let people know what time they can reach you and what times you’ll be available that won’t interrupt your work flow.

4. Use time blocks. Time blocking is a great way to set a routine that will allow you to get more done—faster. Use time blocks to check emails, write reports, make phone calls and anything else on your to-do lists. You can schedule these activities for when you know you’re at your best to complete them. For example, if you need to make phone calls and are better at doing that in the morning, block out the morning for that activity. Go through your day and see what activities make the most sense for each time. Then stick with that schedule to move through your day. A consistent routine will also help you train your brain to work on specific tasks more easily.

5. Set a timer. We often lose track of time when we work on tasks or a project. We can suddenly look at the time and find that much more time passed than we had anticipated. To be more aware of time, set a timer. Have the timer go off every 20-30 minutes or for the length of time you’d like to spend on the task. The mental alert about the passing of time will make you speed things up. In many cases, we get stuck on a small part of the project and don’t realize how much time it’s literally taking out of our day. A timer will help control that.

6. Delegate.  Anything you aren’t good at, don’t need to do, or don’t love to do – delegate.  Too many times we think we need to do it all, or that other people can’t do it with the same accuracy as we can. This is false thinking. Find those tasks that you can let go of and clear your calendar with more space to do the activities with more impact.

You can find more time in your day by implementing some or all of these strategies. We all get the same 24-hour time period, but how you choose to use it is completely up to you.