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15 Tips on How To Stay Organized at Work and Increase Productivity? (Even If You are Working From Home)

Introduction

“Someone wisely said, being Organized is being in control.”

Do you know what most people with successful professions or careers have in common? 

Umm, they are rich? (of course that too, but this is not what we are talking about)

Well, they all:

  • Have their priorities known
  • They have a routine
  • They are optimistic & goal-oriented
  • They throw out clutter on daily-basis
  • They know how to collaborate and get things done

All in all, they are very methodical, have great organizational skills to make their work sound less daunting and more approachable. They all have harnessed great ways to make their work and workplace productive by optimizing their work, thoughts, and long-term goals.

If the thought of being organized at work seems prodigal to you, let’s talk about the importance of it, and tell you some consequences of it, if you go otherwise.

How to Stay Organized at Work? What Happens If You Don’t?

professional goals

Being organized at the workplace, either by clearing your desk, head or reducing blockers in your daily routine can help a lot in improving your productivity level, work-life balance, stress, and mainstreaming collaboration with the team, associates, or subordinates you work with along. By vouching for great organization practices, you can accomplish more and meet your personal & professional goals, altogether, with great satisfaction & finesse.

Organization practices or skills are more than just about clearing desks, checking emails, or maintaining proper workflow or communication. It is all about streamlining work structure, actions or order, even your mental thoughts, in a way they are consistent & possible enough to prioritize tasks and further boost high levels of productivity. 

Being organized is a commitment you make to put your life in order, either by doing the bare minimum or even a little extra to maintain that professional appearance, punctuality, commitment, and stable relationships --- while working in any corporate campus or even remotely.

Messy desks, unclear routines, improper workflow, or everything else that constitutes best organization practices can make you feel devastated and:

  • Slowly diminish your work productivity & efficiency, down the line
  • Make you feel negative and unclear about tasks
  • Make you procrastinate and gather piles of work for later
  • Add to your mental stress and depression level (on a serious note)

If you are in the same conundrum and often find prioritizing tasks, communication, or any action pertaining to your daily routine as heavy lifting, we have this complete guide on how to stay organized at work, for your rescue --- all gathered from real personal experiences.

15 Simple Steps on How to Stay Organized at Work --- Physically & Mentally!

No matter whether you are working from a corporate physical campus or from remotely, being consistent, punctual or professional is still the common ground you need to be at. Here we are sharing some expert tips to stay organized that will strive you to do better by staying focused on your existing or newfound job routine. To make it more interesting, we will divide the blog into two aspects:

  • Tips on how to stay organized at work --- Physically
  • Tips on how to stay organized at work--- Mentally

Tips on How to Stay Organized at Work - Physically!

1. Worship the Place you Work at by Decluttering it

Studies have shown that employees who keep their workstation either remotely or in corporate settings clean & organized are much more focused, level-headed in their routine work, and often have their “can-do spirit” intact.

Come on, it’s your desk, it is your duty to keep it squeaky clean & resourceful enough to support your daily tasks. A clean and well-maintained workspace or cubicle (yay, lucky if you own one) brings great positivity and effectiveness. And also, you might not notice, but it does boost your productivity, somehow. Here are few tips, how you can maintain your workspace like a pro:

  • Always clean the desk as soon as dust accumulates, coffee rings turn up.
  • Get rid of all the supplies & non-essential items making home at your desk.
  • Keep important supplies like stationery, external hardware, or anything else at arm’s distance.
  • Keep a notebook and pen handy throughout to jot down things or any instruction on the go.
  • Get rid of a bunch of wires, place the hardware like desktop, laptop, cables, at certain designated places in great alignment for use.
  •  Use drawers if any to keep the items not required in day-to-day life.
  • Add some motivational stuff like quotes, green plants, office toys or so that could make your desk more lively  & positive.

2. Set Your Not-so Unrealistic Goals

Research has found that setting goals help you boost your performance, motivates you to make the best efforts, and prioritize the tasks to achieve the desired goals!

Setting a goal in the workspace as an employee, helps you in 3 ways:

  • It provides guidance or path to fulfilling your end-goals
  • It motivates you every day to take that plunge without procrastinating
  • It enables you to plan & figure out your routine

Setting a realistic goal for the long-term is enough to drive your day & compel you to take strong actions in order to achieve them. Setting measurable, achievable goals could be as ---  securing a raise, getting a promotion in profile, bringing 100% positive outputs from tasks, or solely adding broadly to the organization’s success by seeking innovative inputs.

Have such goals around, dart them over your notice board, desktop, or everywhere your eyes could see. This would highly motivate you to get yourself up & hustle harder.

3. Create an Achievable To-do list Each Day

​​​​​

Creating an achievable to-do list helps a lot in keeping your actions & thoughts in check. When you create a possible to-do-list for the day, you:

  • Feel relaxed and less nervous about going for things you need to do
  • Have more clarity in working & thinking
  • You feel a sense of accomplishment when you strike that task off the list at the end of the day!

Creating a list, either manually over pen & paper, over spreadsheets, with apps, sticky notes, or Google docs, helps you manage each task efficiently and lets you prioritize and remember the task of the day.

To make an effective to-do-list:

  • Don’t mention your goals & objective on it
  • Keep the tasks separated as a high priority & low priority
  • Write tasks as quickly as you can
  • Also write the small task like a discussion with a colleague, or any dependencies regarding some work on that list
  • Review your list & identity task which if pursued later won’t be a problem

4. Make use of Calendars & Planners

With multiple systems, endless work commitments, the workplace can give you a harrowing experience.

When you have busy days or weeks ahead and have a lot of time-bound activities lined up, things like calendars & planners come in handy. In this wave of multitasking, it can be nerve-wracking to keep tabs on all upcoming tasks. This is why you should use digital calendars & planners to stay notified about all the upcoming activities, work commitments, without forgetting them. 

You can take the help of Gmail calendars or any external planner apps to jot down your important days, work activities, any tentative absenteeism (to keep the workflow intact), or any meeting or even small task like a discussion with a colleague. These calendars will give you a timely reminder & keep you posted on everything you are ought to do next.

5. Create a Schedule & Stay Fixated on it

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, it is to schedule everything that needs to be prioritized.” --- Stephen Covey 

Setting a predictable schedule or routine daily is important to determine “what your priorities are for the day” and “how much time you have in hand to accomplish them”. A consistent daily routine will help you time track your tasks, complete them, and accomplish results from them, within the time.

If you randomly show up at your workplace, and start haphazardly doing work, with no focus on priority, time, and working with just basic funda of “just to get done with things”, then you will just end up doing things, and will not enjoy and improve at what you do. And in the long run, such an approach will make you feel monotonous and static in your job. You will feel forced to show up at work. 

We know not everyone is used to a routine, as we all have different preferences, body clocks, endurance, energy level, and other extraordinary things that are our own. But it is better to have clarity of thoughts and work, you need to live with for each day.

6. Define or Redefine Communications

Workspace communications are also contributors to increased productivity & efficiency. The greater the communication channel, the more successful will be work outcomes.

Workspace communications is a distill exchange of verbal or non-verbal thoughts, visions, or information between individuals or departments. Having a clearly defined communication channel is of utmost importance to keep intact with your work ethos at the individual or group level.

If you don’t have a clear, professional communication channel, approaching work can be a painful task for you. A fair, open communication exchange also has a big role in keeping you organized during the day.

You can define or redefine a company’s communication exchange by:

  • Knowing your authority (what ultimate power you hold to make the work done from someone), accountability (what all tasks you are obligated to do, under whose leadership), and answerability (to what extent you need to answer your work progress & to whom).
  • Maintaining a professional communication thread, via either emails or any communication tool your company leverages like Skype, Slack, Google Hangouts.
  • Clearly jotting down all the action points, tasks discussed with you in a meeting or over quick scrum. Ask over twice, if not clear at the first go.
  • Avoiding silos mentality/behavior, reach out within departments to discuss, brainstorm, and innovate (if not forbidden in your organization).
  • Having impromptu meetings, discussions regarding work. Involve your colleagues, seniors, and reach out for help whenever feeling stuck.
  • Being vocal. Communicate your visions, thoughts, share,  whatever you need to in a professional & sensible way.
  • Being understanding of other people's opinions, thoughts & feel open to discuss yours too.

7. Keep up With Your Virtual Workspace

Your virtual workspace is the space where you actually work. The sheets or files you work around, the emails, the quick notes you make. Make sure your digital docs & files are organized and handy whenever you run your system. As every time having to open all the files or documents, one by one can be time taking, and literally daunting. So better:

  • Know the files or apps you will be using daily & keep them open for restoring whenever you open your system.
  • Create a folder in the spreadsheet & put in all the digital files or docs for ready reference in that.
  • Keep the emails or any message on reading, don’t bail out on them, you can categorize the mails, and flag the non-important ones.
  • Be active on work-only internet. It can be easy to get distracted & lose momentum while working & feel the urge to check out on social media, so to minimize the distraction, fix time to check your social media, or block the non-important websites from accessing.

8. Transform All Paper Trail into Digital

Keeping your data electronically helps you save space, and makes the data easy to search and put to use.

If you are a digital firm, then this won’t be a hard nut. Avoid the paper trail and try to keep the documents and data as digitized, as this will:

  • Save the office from clutter & heaps of papers lying in the dust.
  • Safekeep the document and will be easy to locate for everyone.

If your work requires you to maintain a paper trail, ensure there is proper file naming, spaces, folders to keep them. You can serially store the documents or categorize them by certain color codes or abbreviations. Wherever not necessary, try to keep the documents safe & handy over Google docs, as PDFs, or in any virtual space.

9. Use Organizational Tools & Apps for Each Task

Organization tools and apps could be your best friends that guide you through, motivate you, and put you on the right track to drive your work and workplace success. When incorporated into daily life, they can help you optimize your work performance by reducing your hours & efforts over a task, let you stay organized, and make your routine seem less hectic. 

You can try quite a lot of apps & tools, other than boring Gmail or Google Spreadsheets to make your work more productive & fun to pursue. Here are the 6 smart organization tools that will inspire you to work smarter, faster, and better:

1. Evernote - Evernote is the best tool to take automated notes during interviews, meetings, or scrums. With its chrome extension, you can save any paragraphs, links, and even audio recordings or photos.

2. Asana - You can use apps like Asana that let you stay in touch with your daily goals, both at the individual or team level. You can easily track your project’s progress & timely hit the deadlines. It is simple to integrate with other tools to track the team’s progress, visualize online tasks, plan sprints, etc. Once a task is done, it even notifies with email or their mobile app itself. There are a variety of such apps that let you set a routine & actively make the most from it.

3. Momentum - As the name suggests, the app lets you gain momentum with the work by letting you select the visually beautiful & inspiring sceneries and quotations for the desktop. So that you are always motivated and jostled with great positivity around while working.

4. Nimble - Nimble is a great integration tool that connects well with your company’s internal communication platforms, calendars, social media, sales cycle data, and with over 1300+ SaaS apps like Quickbooks, Salesforce, Hubspot, etc, to bring better & active team communication, stay tuned in with regular follow-ups pertaining to work or regarding any sales initiatives.

5. Hobbity - Experts say, it might take 21 days to make a habit! Well, that’s true & with apps like Hobbity, it’s even possible. The tool lets you create a loop of good habits that might lead to your long-term success. It tracks, visualize your daily habits, routines & gives you clear statistics of how far you have come.

6. Trello - If you don’t work in a silo and have great scope to turn around and collaborate, this Trello app lets you visualize, prioritize, and organize your work & thoughts in a very flexible and fun way. Its amazing features are something if you seek great automation at work.

10. Nurture Right Corporate Relationships

Whether you are working in a physical real-estate or from a remote office, it’s ultimately the colleagues around you who communicate with & keep yourself around, that somehow motivates you, keeps you in great alignment, supports you, and helps you conquer tasks. To stay organized, you need to ensure the team, people around you are organized and have everything streamlined that could help meet your work success.

Do you ever see a colleague who is very consistent, punctual, very low on procrastination, has a downright professional & positive attitude intact? If you do, be around them, or simply become like them!

In an organization, it is always “We” rather than “I”. It’s the colleagues you will need to work with - directly or indirectly, and it's their working pattern & style that can hamper or improve yours.

To make the most of your work, nurture the right corporate relationships by taking time to understand your colleagues, their intentions, work ethics, schedules, work pattern, dependencies of yours or theirs (on each other). Maintain a front face with employees who are not aligned with the goals as yours, and simply get invested in those that can teach you how to be more effective & productive.

Tips on How to Stay Organized at Work - Mentally!

Let’s go through some tips to stay organized by preserving & boosting your mental energy.

11. Stop There & Take a Break

Take a break, drink coffee, chat with colleagues, daydream, and wander your mind elsewhere from work.

Your mind is like a CPU, if you will overuse it without frequent breaks & pauses, it can overheat, jam from too many thoughts, which will eventually reduce your ability to work faster & efficiently, over time. Allow yourself to cut from the work, take a break, think of something else, watch greenery other than your screens, and come back feeling refreshed.

Relaxing your mind, cooling your jets can help you focus better & stay organized during work hours!

12. Make Health a Priority Outside Work Too

Work organization also depends on how you stay healthy outside work. If you torture your body outside work, by giving it less sleep, poor nutrients, zero creative outlets, or physical movement, you can’t expect your mind to let you work with great discipline, focus & energy.

Health defines everything. If you're light on your feet, have had great sleep, food, and a physical routine outside work, you can accomplish any task with full zeal.

13. Don’t Multitask - As There is Nothing of Such Sort

Stanford researchers have said that “if you oscillate frequently between two tasks at the same time, it can eventually slow your brain & reduce your work efficiency. Your brain is not made to juggle between the two tasks at a faster time.

Hanging on such a habit is not good for the long-haul. Going forward, it can diminish your judgment, slow down your brain, and add to your stress level severely.

Letting your brain focus on two or more tasks at such short spans can prompt it to release a stress hormone called cortisol, which can lead to murky thoughts or unclear visions.

14. Reward Yourself (Even if you didn’t achieve big)

“Reward yourself for the work you do daily, it will prompt you to even work harder.”

Don't wait up for the perfect moment to knock at your to feel proud and appreciative of your efforts. Make each day count and establish some ground rules that if you will deliver certain tasks within time, bring innovation at work to some extent, or bring improvement in your routine, you are going to reward yourself with as tiny or as big to reward yourself to feel motivated going forward. It could be:

  • Booking a meal out
  • Taking a break
  • Enjoying a magazine with coffee in peace for sometime
  • Listening to your favorite playlist
  • Savoring a nice glass of wine
  • Buying yourself some present
  • Or anything else that makes you value your work even more

15. It’s Okay! Don’t Strive That Hard

Don’t force yourself to become a certain way overnight. For some, bringing consistency, punctuality, and special focus to work can be difficult. Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, don’t strive to be “Certain someone” at a quick speed. Take your time, think, ponder, realize and create scope to improve, and be better than you were yesterday. If you are able to do at least 5% extra from yesterday, you are going in the right direction.

Hold tight, stay inspired, and you will definitely find a way to be your best self and stay productive, organized, and willing to succeed at any tech or non-tech job.

Quick Tips to How to Stay Organized at Work From Home Scenarios

This uncalled pandemic hit has made all of us digitally connected, many workspaces are now routing towards work from home style. If you are a full-time freelancer or remote employee already, well that’s great, because you might already be doing your best at being organized at work from home. 

But if you have newly ditched your traditional office space, and strapped in with your study table as your new office desk, here are few tips that will help you stay sane, organized, and productive even in your comforting PJs (we know you relish them).

Tips to Stay Organized At Work From Home

  • Set up a Work Schedule
  • Always get up and dress well (yes, take a bath & skip those pajamas to feel good)
  • Turn off notifications, limit distractions
  • Create a dedicated workspace - keep it separate from home space
  • Set Household rules - to separate work from home chores
  • Plan out your daily tasks
  • Keep a planner, to-do list journal, scheduler handy
  • Keep your desk tidy, have all supplies in arm’s reach
  • Use noise-canceling headphones 
  • List out priority work 
  • Organize your hardware, keep them updated
  • Stay connected to colleagues, superiors during Google meets over scrums or huddle
  • Have planned breaks for your meals, house chores (if any), and extra time for breathing fresh air
  • Maintain good health with proper physical routine & sleep cycle
  • Focus one task at a time, don’t multitask
  • Stay motivated by indulging yourself in some activities that you relish

Final Thoughts

Being organized at work is not about laboring over a few great actions. Being organized is a commitment you make with yourself, a lifestyle you follow to make work more interesting and less stressful. 

By staying organized at work & the workplace, you tend to achieve more mental clarity, you feel great fondness towards work, and you feel motivated to jump on your career ladder.

The 15 tips on how to stay organized at work we shared with you are based on the experience of real-life achievers. Select, try, and experiment with any of them and see how great it will impact your corporate life as well as personal life.

However, if you are still struggling to find a career path that lets you stay sane, organized, motivated, and productive enough (even in this mass work from home scenarios), we have some amazing tech and management career options for you lined up, followed by absolutely free career counseling!


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    JanBask Training

    A dynamic, highly professional, and a global online training course provider committed to propelling the next generation of technology learners with a whole new way of training experience.


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Comments

  • L

    Lane Clark

    Totally agree with the thought of the writer, a disorganized workplace makes things more clumsy. And it's our workplace, so it's our responsibility to keep it organized, yes even when we are working from home.

     Reply
    • logo16

      JanbaskTraining

      Thank you so much for your comment, we appreciate your time. Keep coming back for more such informative insights. Cheers :)

  • K

    Kyle Lee

    I started my career three months ago, as this professional life is very new to me. I am struggling with time management among different assigned tasks. This post has made one thing very clear, we should work on prioritizing.

     Reply
    • logo16

      JanbaskTraining

      Glad you found this useful! For more such insights on your favourite topics, do check out JanBask Training Blogs and keep learning with us!

  • R

    Riley Walker

    Well-written blog! Tips highlighted in this blog to stay organized are really practical and effective.

     Reply
  • J

    Jorge Hall

    Work from home has made my life hell but as this pandemic is not going away soon, we should implement things to balance professional and personal life. And need to organize the workplace, as it provides us with our daily bread and butter. The points highlighted are good enough. This was a great piece!

     Reply
    • logo16

      JanbaskTraining

      Glad you found this useful! For more such insights on your favourite topics, do check out JanBask Training Blogs and keep learning with us!

  • B

    Beckham Allen

    Nice motivational blog, these days people need more such blog posts because people get frustrated with this work from home life. Thanks, team!

     Reply
    • logo16

      JanbaskTraining

      Glad you found this useful! For more such insights on your favourite topics, do check out JanBask Training Blogs and keep learning with us!

  • C

    Cayden Young

    Totally agree with all the points. If we can hone these tips, we can definitely sail through this pandemic & so called work from home. Organization is the key!

     Reply
    • logo16

      JanbaskTraining

      Thank you so much for your comment, we appreciate your time. Keep coming back for more such informative insights. Cheers :)

  • J

    Jaden Hernandez

    I have been in freelance set up before this worldwide lockdown. But I still practice great organization tips to make a balance between my work & life. Otherwise, you could become so drained and tired. Clarity of mental thoughts & organization of physical environment, work is super important to stay productive.

     Reply
    • logo16

      JanbaskTraining

      Glad you found this useful! For more such insights on your favourite topics, do check out JanBask Training Blogs and keep learning with us!

  • E

    Emerson King

    The planner thing works for me very well. Like I put my task and give myself a goal to finish, these apps keep reminding you of your priorities. Tech is very important to stay organized as well. Inscribing just with pen and paper is a thing of the past!

     Reply
    • logo16

      JanbaskTraining

      Thank you so much for your comment, we appreciate your time. Keep coming back for more such informative insights. Cheers :)

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