Benefits of Keeping Organized At Work
By Marisa Wolch
Getting organized comes as second nature to some of us, while others may choose to procrastinate on any “spring cleaning” or organizational tasks. For those people, just the mere thought of cleaning up and getting organized can be daunting.
Whether or not keeping organized is one of your strengths, it’s a habit everyone should get into. If you’ve ever kept your boss waiting because you couldn’t locate an important document, or if you’re guilty of arriving late to meetings frequently or missing an important deadline, getting organized should be at the top of your to-do list.
If you’re looking for some guidance, below you can find some benefits of keeping organized, as well as tips on how and what to organize to get the most out of your day–to-day work.
Benefits of keeping organized:
You can increase your productivity. By keeping organized, you will save time looking for things and will have more time to work on important tasks. As organization can improve the flow of communication between you and your team, you can also make your team more productive. After all, better communication leads to better results.
You can reduce your stress level. Is your manager asking you to locate a document from five years ago? If things are organized and labelled neatly, tracking this down should be a piece of cake, rather than a source of stress!
You can be on time – consistently. Organization and punctuality go hand-in-hand. Consider setting calendar alerts, for example, to ensure you do not get too caught up in a task and lose track of time. Impress your manager – be prompt and show up on time.
You can ensure you meet deadlines. When task after task begins to pile up, it isn’t too hard to forget one small, yet important task. Don’t miss an important deadline on a project because you got sidetracked with another urgent item. Set calendar alerts so you will never miss a deadline again – or better yet, surprise your manager and complete your task ahead of schedule.
We can all agree these are some pretty great benefits – but where should you start? Here are some items to consider organizing and how to tackle each.
Start by getting rid of any papers that can be recycled or shredded. This is usually the biggest part of clutter on a person’s desk. If a document contains confidential information, be sure to go the route of shredding, rather than recycling. For all other papers that you feel are important to keep, create a filing system and label items. Sort things out by client/customer, by project, alphabetically, by date, or whatever makes the most sense for you.
- Your computer files
If you work on a computer all day, you may want to ensure your files are organized in a manner that will make it easy for you to locate an item quickly. Be specific in terms of file names so you can conduct an easy search for a specific item when in a rush. This might not seem like a big deal, but it can be a huge time-saver.
- The company shared drive or file management system
For those who work in an office with their colleagues, you may have some sort of shared drive/filing system that is accessible by the entire company. As mentioned, file organization is key, but it becomes even more necessary when colleagues rely on one another to remain organized.
- Your calendar
Have a meeting or appointment to go to in the middle of the day? Have a project with a strict deadline? Add these to your calendar! Even for those who work outside of a traditional office such as contractors or service technicians may have several projects to work on in a given day, or potential clients to meet with. Avoid being late or double-booked by attaching an electronic calendar to your email.
- Shared filing cabinets
Even though there’s a lot of work done on our computers these days, if your industry requires a lot of paperwork, make sure things are filed neatly. A lot of companies keep paper copies around for several years for their records. Consider filing by year, alphabetically, by client name or by project name.
- Your cellphone
A great way to stay on top of things is to sync your phone with your work email, and also sync your phone with your calendar. There are also a number of apps that can help keep you organized at work.
- Your work vehicle
For those who have a job that operates out of their vehicle, such as a landscaper or plumber, you want to make sure your work vehicle is neat and clean. You’ll want to be able to find items quickly while you’re working, so try to organize any tools and items you need neatly in your vehicle to avoid clutter, which can lead to losing or misplacing items.
Get organized today!
If you weren’t driven to organize your work life earlier, hopefully the reasons outlined above have provided some motivation, as well as where to start. Stay productive and keep organized year-round!
For more advice on how to be more productive at work, visit career-advice.monster.ca