Good organization is one of the areas that almost all of us could improve in. Obviously, some people are messier than others. However, your organization extends past manila folders and to-do lists. We see people working to be more organized in their homes (think the Marie Kondo craze on Netflix), but what can you do to increase work-based organization, and as a result, be more productive?
Your calendar is your friend
Your calendar represents your life, or at least your life at work. It also serves a dual purpose as it reminds you of obligations, but it also alerts others in your organization to when you’re busy, where you’re located, or what you are working on. Keeping an organized, up-to-date calendar helps ease lines of communication in the office when a supervisor or boss can quickly find what you are up to, without having to call or send an email. Whether you (or your company) uses Outlook, Google Calendar, iCal or others, you have the ability to send meeting invitations, set reminders, and even color-code specific event types.
But like anything, if you utilize it in the wrong way you may find that your work-based organization suffers. With your calendar, ensure that you are scheduling relevant items. If a meeting is canceled be sure to remove it from the day. Or, if a recurring event ends duration, ensure it isn’t taking up space on your calendar just because. Like an email inbox, calendars can quickly become cluttered if not attended to or maintained. If you miss a scheduled phone call because you had to take extra time to search through a jumbled calendar, the tool that is designed to help you could actually be hurting you. Keep your calendar organized and remain as productive as possible!
Declutter your workspace
I am sure you can think of at least one person who is that person in your office. That person may even be you. Their desk is piled high with papers and documents, nothing is filed, but they swear they know where everything is. This is just how they work best. Well, science says this is wrong. More specifically, neuroscientists from Princeton University say this is wrong.
In their 2011 study titled, Interactions of Top-Down and Bottom-Up Mechanisms in Human Visual Cortex, they found that when there is too much “stuff,” he or she had a significantly harder time being productive. To put it simply, anything not directly related to the task at hand is distracting. Your productivity drains every time something unrelated catches your attention and takes time away from the task at hand. A clear desk minimizes these distractions and as a result, drives productivity.
Keep these tips in mind and see how your new-found organization skills help you be more productive at work.